How Michele Tsucalas Built a Granola Empire in Baltimore
by Jane Marion
Published March 15 in Baltimore Magazine
Excerpt: On and early Fall morning, inside a run-of-the-mill Timonium office park, a kitchen staff dressed in white aprons, white chef shirts, and bouffant caps measures and mixes, spreads and smooths, bakes and breaks, and finally bags and boxes sheets of granola. Against the backdrop of shiny steel ovens, industrial-sized mixers, and walls papered with hygiene signs, the crew works with yeoman-like efficiency for a brand that has quietly become a made-in-Maryland cereal superstar.
Twenty-four hours later, Michele’s Granola—seven flavors in all, from almond butter to lemon-pistachio, plus seasonal and limited-edition varieties—will get shipped to some 3,500 grocery stores across the United States, including Whole Foods Markets, Giants, Krogers, The Fresh Markets, Sprouts, Wegmans, Graul’s Market, Eddie’s of Roland Park, as well as mom-and-pop markets (not to mention online on Amazon). The food product—once an “itty bitty granola baby” in the words of its founder—has a footprint in virtually every state from Maine to Hawaii, and it is now one of the top-selling premium granolas in the country.