Erica Liu Williams a Stanford grad, Olympic Trials swimmer and ex-techie-turned-food-entrepreneur. After graduating Stanford in 2008, she worked in the tech industry for 10 years, during which she moonlit gr8nola, her healthy granola business, for half her career.
Today, gr8nola is supplied at some of the biggest tech companies like Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Square, Microsoft, Slack and more. As of late 2017, Erica officially left her career in tech to pursue gr8nola full-time.
What inspired you all to create this company?
I was looking to satisfy both my hunger and health when I came up with the idea for gr8nola. As a Stanford graduate, former Olympic Trials swimmer and busy professional, I constantly found myself craving a delicious yet healthy snack to satisfy my taste buds that also fit within my clean eating lifestyle.
After seeing the lack of healthy granolas (and snacks, overall) in stores, I created my own recipe and swapped the not-so-good stuff (like refined sugar and GMO oils) with clean ingredients like extra virgin coconut oil and superfoods. When my NFL hubby couldn’t get enough of it, I knew I had something special and started a business out of it by selling at my local farmers market — and gr8nola was born! Today gr8nola is fueling gr8ness at Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies like Google, Twitter, Uber, Dropbox, Square, Slack, Microsoft and more.
What distinguishes your company and product in the market?
#1: Taste: gr8nola always wins on taste—our texture is light, crispy and not overly hard or sugary like others. This is why the business has grown so rapidly within the tech company channel: employees at companies like Google, Twitter, Uber and more actually “voted” gr8nola into their pantries.
#2: Unique & Functional Superfood Flavors: gr8nola is first-to-market with superfood flavors like Matcha Green Tea, Golden Turmeric, Charcoal Chia, and Chai.
#3: Clean Ingredients: Gr8nola is proud to be low in sugar (5g per 1/3c serving) and free of GMOs, refined sweeteners, dairy, soy and other junk ingredients commonly found in the competition.