Teatime with Jamie Kim
By Navdeep Kaur
We are forever in awe of the versatility of masala chai and its potential to be used in so many different kinds of bakes and breakfast recipes. In keeping up with the vibe of the season and adding a dash of chai to our morning routines, we are thrilled to collaborate with Jamie Kim who has prepared delicious chai pear streusel granola with the DONA zero waste chai spice.
The granola is made of organic ingredients sourced locally, which includes ghee, caramelised pears, gluten-free oats, honey, sliced almonds, brown sugar, coconut chips, heirloom pumpkin seeds along with the zero waste chai spice. From sweet to savoury, cheddar to matcha and black tea, Jamie’s granola skills have done it all.. In putting together the recipe for chai pear streusel granola, she wanted the warm and toasty flavors of the season to stand out, hence the use of ghee with spices and the fruity relish of pear checked all the boxes!
Do read as she goes on to share about her business, love for tea and the wholesome nature of the granola she makes.
Tell us about the journey of your business.
I started my company in 2017 while attending college in upstate New York. I’ve made granola for my friends since high school, using it as a platform to experiment with unique flavor combinations and ingredients. My peers kept asking to buy it from me, so I pitched the idea for a granola business to my marketing class - one that was centered around the community and celebrated local agriculture. Word caught on, and I began setting up tabling events around campus to sell bags of granola, one at a time. About a year later, I heard from a local forager at Whole Foods who was interested in bringing our products into a local store.
After graduating in 2019, I took the business full-time. I went door-to-door to wholesale accounts to sell my products and began a partnership with a lifestyle company called Beekman 1802 to develop custom flavors of granola inspired by goat milk. Now, I have an Ops Manager on my team, along with a manufacturer, fulfillment team, accounting team. We won 2 sofi Silver awards for our Vanilla Bean and Rosemary Granolas from the Specialty Food Association, and were also recently named a Good Food Award Finalist. We sell in various specialty food stores, Sunbasket, Wegmans, FreshDirect, and are soon launching as a local vendor with Sprouts Farmers Market and in all locations of MOMs Organic Markets.
What is your relationship with tea?
I love tea! I always like having something warm to drink - I do coffee in the morning, but with tea, I’ll drink it throughout the day or after dinner as a way to wind down and get myself ready for bed.
I always switch up what I’m drinking, but often do green or herbal loose leaf teas: matcha, sencha, genmaicha, dragonwell, honeybush, rooibos. I also enjoy getting a chai latte at a coffee shop when I’m not looking for a huge caffeine boost.
Lately, I’ve been drinking Dona’s turmeric pink peppercorn tea and hibiscus tea everyday.
Would you like to say anything about the nutritional value of the granola you make?
Since beginning this business, my approach has always been towards creating wholesome granola, devising recipes with an equal amount of flavor and balance of ingredients. This is achieved through using quality ingredients which are locally sourced, not using too much sugar and replacing refined oils with ghee. These make a difference and my customers believe that the granola is a wholesome indulgence for them.