meet the maker: megan gordon of marge granola
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Megan numerous times over the past few years on the food writing/recipe development side of her life and I must say that it’s always a pleasure. Plus, I often get to taste her creations and let me tell you, this girl knows her way around baked goods from pies and cakes to all manner of breakfast food—most importantly, granola.
Name: Megan Gordon
City/State: Seattle, WA
Amy: For folks who aren’t familiar with your work, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Megan: Sure! I run a small granola company here in Seattle called Marge. We specialize in small-batch artisan granolas using olive oil, lots of nuts and seeds, and no processed sugar. I’m also a freelance food writer. I have my own blog, A Sweet Spoonful, and write for a variety of online websites and print publications.
A: How did you get your start?
M: Long story short: I was an out-of-work high school English teacher in California and couldn’t find another job. I started working in catering, dabbled in baking, started baking a lot and realized I really loved it, so I began my own small baking company in the fall of 2010. I started at farmers markets, moved to Seattle this past February, and the business has only grown since then.
A: Where do you find inspiration?
M: Food magazines and blogs, visiting our weekly farmers market, traveling, and eating out at restaurants that are taking chances with different flavors and approaches to food. Also, just talking to people about what they love to eat for breakfast inspires me.
A: How do you find time to nurture your creativity?
M: Oh, gosh. That’s a tough one. I’m not doing a great job of it right now. But usually, we set aside Sundays as a day to just read the paper, amble about the neighborhood, listen to music, and turn off our “work minds.” This helps a lot.
A: What’s a typical day for you?
M: My work life is split 50/50: Half of the time I’m making granola and the other half I’m writing about food. Regardless of what the day holds work-wise, I usually wake up around 7:30, always have coffee right away, have a little breakfast (usually granola or oatmeal and yogurt). Then in early evening I try to get in a run or go to yoga class, cook dinner with Sam, unwind a little and generally find myself catching up on emails in the evening.
A: We hear you’re working on a book—An Abundant Bowl: 75 Morning Recipes for Granola, Muesli, Warm Grain Cereals, Cookies, Bars and Yogurt—to be published next year. Congrats! What’s the best part about it?
M: Thank you! Well, we eat a lot of breakfast for dinner, and that’s always a good thing. Pushing myself to develop different kinds of recipes than I’m usually inclined towards, networking with other cookbook writers, and seeing the book slowly start to take shape has been the best part so far.
A: What’s a favorite project/craft/creation that you’ve made lately?
M: I’d have to say my garden. I’ve always lived in city apartments before Seattle, so this is the first summer I’ve ever had a yard and a garden to play around in. We grew lettuces all summer and are now working on beets, cabbage, and carrots. It’s a lot of work—but so gratifying when you put together a salad for dinner that came largely from your own backyard.
A: What’s the best part of doing what you do?
M: Well, I work for myself. Like most things in life, there are good parts and bad parts to that. But I have the flexibility to create my own schedule and go for a run in the middle of the day if I feel like it. I also love talking to people about food and learning from them, so writing and teaching really nourish me in that way and keep me excited about my job.
A: What’s up next?
M: Well, the cookbook is consuming most of my time here for the next few months. When that’s complete, I’m looking forward to growing Marge. I have some ideas in the works for a line of mueslis and porridge — and a few other goodies that I’ve been told I shouldn’t spill the beans about yet. I haven’t been able to give Marge my full attention while writing the book, so I’m looking forward to really ramping that up this winter.
And now for fun, please fill in the blanks:
I desperately want a: massage
Every day I look forward to: having coffee with my boyfriend, Sam, before we head off to work.
If I wasn’t doing this work, I’d be: teaching English or writing novels
For breakfast today I had: oatmeal!
I can’t wait to see: Australia and New Zealand