Maine Organic Granola Maker Reclaims Former Elementary School, Goes 100 Percent Solar

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GrandyOats Moves from Brownfield Barn to Hiram School Creating First Net Zero Food Production Facility in New England

The REAL GRANOLAS at GrandyOats today announced that after 14 years in its beloved, historic dairy barn in Brownfield, Maine, it has outgrown the facility and is moving to an abandoned elementary school 12 miles down the road in Hiram, Maine to expand production, meet expanding demand, and provide sufficient office space for its organic cereal and snack operations.

Through the reconstruction of the school, GrandyOats is building a state-of-the-art, 100 percent solar powered facility that will generate more than 95,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy on an annual basis. This will make the new GrandyOats home the first net zero food production facility in New England. Net zero means that the facility will not burn any fossil fuels and thereby have zero carbon emissions on an annual basis.

“GrandyOats will be the first net zero food production facility in New England, which is an incredibly powerful response to the carbon pollution problem confronting humankind,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder, ReVision Energy. “We are proud to be partnering with GrandyOats on this project because it shows the world that it is possible to run a high volume manufacturing facility in a relatively harsh northern climate without the need for oil, propane or natural gas.”

“Repurposing and revitalizing is part of who we are,” said Aaron Anker, chief granola officer, GrandyOats. “After 14 years operating out of one nontraditional space, a 1910 dairy barn, it’s no surprise we aren’t moving to a large commercial factory. Like the GrandyOats barn, the Hiram Elementary School is empty, rural, and could have been easily overlooked. We are putting it to good use, purposely restoring it and adding solar panels to give it life. It’s important to us to produce in rural Maine and employ rural Mainers.”

GrandyOats will move operations of its hand-made, small batch organic products to Hiram in November 2015. Founded in 1979, the company grew 25 percent in 2013 and 2014, respectively and is positioned for 30 percent growth by the end of 2015. GrandyOats will become the largest employer in Hiram, adding 50 percent to the employment base with living wage- as well as potential future jobs.

The Hiram Elementary School is a 10,600 square foot brick building constructed in 1979. It was vacated in 2009 during Maine’s school consolidation. The building had been empty for five years when GrandyOats purchased it in 2014. The GrandyOats expansion includes a 2,000 square foot warehouse where raw organic ingredients will be housed. The building sits on 8.5 acres with over 400 feet of frontage on the Saco River. The sports fields where children used to play kickball and foursquare will house the solar panels. Front entrance artwork created by third graders will remain as a reminder of the building’s origin and soul.

Specifically, the custom-designed solar electric system by ReVision Energy will power 100 percent of GrandyOats’ energy needs, including ovens, computers, forklifts, lights, heating and cooling, with no carbon fuel whatsoever on the premises. The installation will include an 80.64 kW system consisting of 288 photovoltaic modules in portrait, arranged in two rows of 72 panels each, with each row being two panels high. It will produce on average 95,622 kWh of clean, renewable electricity annually. The system will offset over 145,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year, or the amount of miles equivalent to driving from Hiram, Maine to San Francisco, California and back 25 times.

“Going off the grid has long been a GrandyOats goal,” continued Anker. “Maine is our home and its rivers and mountains have shaped the spirit of our company. By going 100 percent solar we’re doing our part right here at home.”

Certified organic by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and certified Kosher, GrandyOats never uses products that contain antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMOs. A wide range of GrandyOats organic cereals and snacks in a variety of sizes are now available nationwide in natural food stores, food cooperatives, major grocery chains, and online at http://www.grandyoats.com.

About GrandyOats
For more than 14 years, the GrandyOats family has hand-made small batches of organic granola, muesli, trail mix, roasted nuts, and hot cereals from a rustic barn in Brownfield, Maine. With the mission of sourcing the most wholesome organic ingredients and keepin’ it real, GrandyOats partners with local, organic, and non-GMO producers to create the taste that nature intended. REAL GRANOLAS Nat Peirce, Head Honcho; and Aaron Anker, Chief Granola Officer; lead a team of 20 with three simple mantras at the helm: live life organically, love the path you travel, and keep it real! For more information and granola wisdoms, visit http://www.grandyoats.com. GrandyOats is also on Twitter @realgranolas, Instagram @grandyoats and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/GrandyOats.

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Elizabeth Horton
Simmer Public Relations
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