Like fashion, food trends are cyclical. With the departure of low carb diets for a greater push toward preservative-free, gut-healthy whole foods in recent years, granola is once again an esteemed grain. But generic, unhealthy granola of the past – which had befallen into a veritable dessert given abundant refined sugars – has given way to a more wholesome staple. Enter The Hampton Grocer.
Farm to Front Door
Founded in 2020, The Hampton Grocer is a gluten-free granola brand packed with over 50% nuts, seeds and coconut, and subtly sweetened with local honey. Many of the ingredients – namely the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, cashews, cinnamon and vanilla extract – are organic.
Beyond tapping into organic resources, sourcing locally also enhances the quality and abundant flavors in the brand’s granola varieties. Founder Samantha Sherman told TQE, “Since day one, I sourced wildflower honey from Kutik's Farm in upstate New York. Our Organic Maple from Roxbury Mountain I found at the Union Square Farmers market. Little things like sourcing locally makes our product taste better and supports another local small business.”
Since launching, Sherman has been baking small batches, initially at her home creating 9-pound quantities, and now at an Incubator Kitchen, always maxing out at 50 pounds per batch. While multiple small batches are made daily, keeping them small ensures quality and attention to detail that sets the brand apart. The Specialty Food Association agrees, as The Hampton Grocer’s Super Seed Grain Free Granola ($15) recently won a Best New Product sofi™ Award, where products are judged on taste (flavor, appearance, texture and aroma), ingredient quality, and innovation. “We feel the love when we meet our customers at local farmers markets and through interactions on social media, but this is one of the ultimate stamps of approval and we’re very grateful,” said Sherman.
While a fan of granola, I err toward caution with nutrition and had not succumbed to the grainy delight for years. But snacking on The Hampton Grocer, in small quantities, is an indulgence that does not diminish my health initiatives thanks to the nutritive ingredients. Whether sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt, paired with almond milk or eaten straight from the jar, the nuts and seeds make even small portions super satisfying. And satiates for longer than many snacks.
With five flavors (and cool limited-edition varieties) available in $15 12-oz bags, there’s a Hampton Grocer granola for all your taste cravings:
Savory Granola: Slightly sweetened with honey, with a touch of cayenne, a hint of rosemary and just the right amount of salt. Recommended for afternoon snacks or as an addition to your next charcuterie board.
Superseed Grain Free Granola: Grain-free, this blend’s all nuts, seeds, and coconut – salty and a touch of sweet.
Lemon Poppy Blueberry Granola: My favorite! The perfect balance of granola (chock full of cashews, pecans and almonds) sweetened with honey, coconut and dried blueberries.
Cinnamon + Dried Cherry Granola: The original blend. Oats coupled with an abundance of cashews, walnuts and almonds and sweetened with honey, coconut and dried cherries.
Chocolate + Coconut Granola: A crunchy treat that can be a hearty snack – or a fun dessert. While the granola satisfies a chocolate craving, this guilt free treat is baked without dairy and sans added refined sugar.
Samantha Sherman is more than a founder of The Hampton Grocer. She’s also an inspiration to anyone looking to pivot in life. At the start of the pandemic, she embraced change in her work status, enrolling in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in hopes of becoming a health coach by Fall, 2020. While studying, she launched a grocery delivery and meal planning service, which included locally curated gift baskets. The most popular item was (drumroll, please) the granola, a recipe she had inherited from her Mother-in-law. By August, The Hampton Grocer focused solely on granola to meet the demand.
“Starting the business has shown me how much I thrive in a creative environment – something I did not know prior to starting The Hampton Grocer. I create monthly flavors and draw inspiration from the seasons. I beta test these flavors and if something sells really well, I will keep it as a permanent flavor.”
“Success for me is seeing people enjoy my product, recognize my brand, whisper at the farmers market (thinking I can't hear) ‘Wow, that stuff is amazing…have you tried it?" I hope to one day see my granola on shelves nationally, but I am in no rush. I am enjoying the ride.”
In the interim, TQE looks forward to next month’s flavor reveal.
FIVE MORE REASONS TO SNACK ON HAMPTONS GROCER:
- The brand offers a spectacular flavor of the month! The August blend, S’Mores, paired cinnamon granola and chocolate chunk granola with chocolate chunks and mini marshmallows. July’s flavor, Vanilla Bean + Strawberry, was equally delicious (and representative of summer).
- Each blend includes flax seeds, which are high in fiber and protein. Pumpkin seeds, which are rich in antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin K, are also prominent in the granola.
- A three-jar set – each filled with 14oz of granola in a cute refillable glass jar – is available ($66).
- There is a Granola of the Month Club! At the start of each month, you will receive a 14oz. jar of the limited batch granola flavor ($20). Sample past flavors include gingerbread, birthday cake, pumpkin spice and more.
- Mini jars and other customizations (think labels!), are available for events and larger orders.