Bowl a Granola

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Clarinbridge native Siobhán Joyce worked as an Environmental Officer for a quarrying firm and then as a teacher, but when she found herself out of work, she decided to turn adversity into opportunity and start selling the homemade granola that she and her friends had long been enjoying.


An avid cookery fan, Siobhán started making her own organic granola because she found many of the commercially available brands too sweet for her taste.

“People liked it, I was giving it to friends as presents and stuff, so I just thought I would try and make it to sell at markets,” she recalls. There are two varieties of granola on offer – a honey and cinnamon variety, with raisins and cranberries, and a honey and ginger variety, with just cranberry, “for the raisin-haters!” The oats are organically grown in Ireland and a small amount of honey is added for a lighter sweetening.

She took her first tentative steps into food retail when she set up stall at Moycullen market. It wasn’t exactly the fairytale experience she had dreamed of during her nine to five drudgery.

“It was extremely wet, extremely windy, extremely quiet. I spent the day holding on to the gazebo. I sold three bags of granola – three were to friends and family. The following week I sold three bags – the friends and family didn’t show up!”

Nonetheless, she persevered, and now she sells at Moycullen, Roundstone and Galway City markets, where discerning customers can’t get enough of her granola, muesli and spelt and oat biscuits.

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Bowl-a-Granola is the very definition of a cottage industry.

Siobhán reserves particular praise for Enterprise Board CEO, Breda Fox (now Head of Enterprise at LEO Galway) and her mentor, Aisling Roche, who is aiding her with her business plan, as she has found the considerable amounts of administration and research required to set up a business something of a struggle.

“I’d probably still be shying away from approaching them if they hadn’t approached me,” she says.

Between baking, selling, researching, accounting, marketing and delivering, Siobhán has sacrificed much of her free time but she says she wouldn’t return to her previous job “in a million years”.

When the opportunity came for Galway food producers to join the Food Academy with SuperValu and Galway LEO, Siobhán had moved her production to a commercial kitchen and was already suppling 20 shops, 4 of which were SuperValu outlets.

Now, she supplies dozens of stores across Ireland.

For more information, visit Bowl-a-Granola's Facebook page HERE