PREP Member Spotlight November
PREP Member Spotlight for December is no ordinary health food company. Barry Allyn of Longaevitas Granola lives prescription free and uses food as medicine. Stemming from failed attempts to find healthy natural granola without the added carbs and sugars, Barry began to craft his nutrient-packed granola. After surprising his doctor with his turnaround health, he knew he was on the right path. Longaevitas products come packed with prebiotics, antioxidants, and omega 3s, with no mystery fillers or ingredients like most granolas on the market. Longaevitas is a Nutrition First company that believes food should promote health and longevity, and they take pride in starting and ending with nutrition.
PREP Member Spotlight November
How did you choose your name?
When choosing the name for my brand, I originally just wanted something that evoked the simple, natural, mostly organic ingredients I used. The challenge was anything dealing with “nature,” and “healthy” had already been co-opted by Big Food. I knew I wanted to seek copyright protection for my eventual brand name. I learned that using a Latin word was far easier to copyright because Latin is considered a dead language. While Longaevitas defies most of what I had been taught was critical for a brand name: Short, simple, and easy to pronounce, I decided that once people understood what Longaevitas meant, it would make perfect sense and actually add value to my brand.
Longaevitas (Laan-ja-vee-tus) is Latin for Longevity and we are all about providing foods that promote health and longevity.
How did you come up with the idea for your new business?
I never had any intention of starting a food business, but as I became increasingly more health-conscious, I started making more of my own food. When it came to breakfast, I just wanted to create a healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast (for myself) that wasn’t loaded with carbs and sugar. I raised my kids on it, and I often shared this grain-free granola with friends. When those wanted to buy it from me, I just thought it was weird. When one of those friends said that if I didn’t bring this to market, they were going to steal my recipe and bring it to market themselves, I decided to take that step.
What are the essential skills for a new food concept?
The most important skills for a new food concept are understanding who your customer is and how to reach them. Beyond that, you better understand what your food costs are, including production and marketing.
Above all, What’s the most significant food business-related challenge that you had to struggle to overcome?
By far, the biggest challenge I faced (and continue to face) is that healthy eating costs more. A lot more. Cheap food is ubiquitous. With traditional granola, the top two ingredients are going to be rolled oats and some form of sugar. Both of these are dirt cheap and harmful to health. (Rolled oats, by themselves, spike blood sugar. Add sugar, and you have all the ingredients needed for chronic health issues.)
My ingredients cost more, so my product costs more. Only those who understand how my “better for you” product promotes health are willing to pay for it. Unfortunately, healthy eating is not what most people do. My mission is to help educate more people about the benefits of low-carb and no-sugar eating and to show them that “life is sweeter without sugar.”
What’s on your menu? Why did you choose this cuisine/product?
At home, I make countless healthy meals. My granola was the easiest to package, and it was what my friends wanted to buy from me.
What’s the best part of owning your own company?
For me, the best part of owning my own company is creating something that people value, and that is beneficial to the people who consume it. Our society is in a world of hurt because of the unhealthy foods that crowd grocery store aisles. Longaevitas gives them at least one healthy option.
What lessons have you learned since launching your own business?
More SKUs mean more headaches. Keep it simple. Stay narrowly focused. Don’t try to have something for everybody. Know what you stand for and what you won’t.
Is there anything you would have done differently at the start?
Sure, there are things I would have done differently at the start, but learning from mistakes is part of life.
How can someone buy your product?
Longaevitas can most easily be bought online at LongaevitasGranola.com
It is also available at a handful of small organic grocery stores in Atlanta suburbs and some other outlets:
Living Well Farmers Market (Suwanee)
Holistic Mountain Market (Clayton)
Nature’s Corner Market (Marietta & Woodstock)
Buford Highway Farmers Market (Doraville)
Cloudland Coffee (Johns Creek)
Circle A Lettuce
Alpharetta Farmers Market