An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Dec 26, 2013
08:50 AM
The Connecticut Table

Is Westport's Granola Bar Headed for Bear Naked Success?

Is Westport's Granola Bar Headed for Bear Naked Success?

Here’s something we hadn’t seen before: a granola tasting. It's on the menu at brand-new The Granola Bar in Westport, four shots of granola—baked in-house—with a side of yogurt and fresh fruit.

You’ll find plenty of other yummy breakfasty things here, too, like the Half Bubby (half a bagel with house-cured salmon and cream cheese), the egg soufflé of the day, Greek Yogurt Creations and . . . oatmeal! There’s a long list of coffee drinks, teas and flavored lattes (Turkish! Nutella! Salted Caramel!), along with enticing smoothies like The Wake-Up (espresso, banana, almond butter, milk) and the PB&J (strawberries, peanut butter, vanilla, agave, milk).

But this Granola Bar’s not just for breakfast. Substantial, healthy lunch options include panini (the Thanksgiving—layered with turkey, stuffing and fresh cranberries—comes with a side of gravy for dipping), sandwiches (turkey meatball sliders!) and five salads (with choice of five dressings). We can't wait to try the Veggie Bowl, warm roasted veggies with house-made hummus served over quinoa. How about a parting shot . . . of wheatgrass, ginger or Vitamin C? It’s just the thing to bolster your holiday recovery.

Owners Julie Gaines and Dana Noorily have been in the granola business for a few years now, selling their Oats Granola in four tasty versions online and at Whole Foods, Stew Leonard’s and a host of other Connecticut and New York specialty stores. Then, as Gaines tells it, "about a year ago, Dana and I started to brainstorm about our dream café, a place we could go each day for lunch, or to sit comfortably and work on our laptops. We imagined lots of freshly baked granola and delicious coffee in a cosmopolitan yet warm environment. We wanted to expand our focus on pure ingredients and delicious flavor . . . not just in our granola but now in every dish on our menu at The Granola Bar."

"As two moms in Westport, we felt we understood what was missing in the market," says Gaines. And judging from the happy throngs we've seen at The Granola Bar through the holidays, it looks like they were right on the money.

BTW: We couldn’t help but think of another pair of Connecticut pals who got into the granola biz a few years back, Kelly Flatley and Brendan Synnott of Darien. They started a little business called Bear Naked back in 2003, marketing the granola Flatley used to make for her friends in college. Three years later, they sold it for $60 million to Kellogg’s.

The Granola Bar, 275 Post Rd. E. (Playhouse Square), 203/906-2244, Open daily from 6:30 to 4.

Is Westport's Granola Bar Headed for Bear Naked Success?

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