Luanne Thayer had no ambitions about starting her own company. It happened by chance as a matter of personal health. She was working as Clerkship Coordinator for Internal Medicine with the USC School of Medicine in Greenville, when she realized she needed to get healthy. “One day,” she recounts, “my boss [who was also her physician] handed me a 10-pound box of oats and a 3-pound box of flax seeds.” Luanne took them home and started designing granola recipes, playing with different grains and seeds to supplement the oats. “Granola was an opportunity to pack as much nutrition as possible into my first meal of the day,” says Thayer, who prefers to add Greek yogurt and fresh berries to her granola for an even bigger superfood punch.
This experimentation resulted in her first recipe: pumpkin and fig granola. Soon, she was sharing her nutrition-rich breakfast food with friends and church members, and getting feedback about how good it was. Finally, her boss suggested that Thayer start her own business. So, in May 2015, she left her job to make granola full-time in a rented space inside a local DHEC-approved kitchen. “Super ’Nola Natural,” Thayer says, “is an accidental company but an intentional product.” Accident or not, the response to her granola has been “joyfully overwhelming.”
Not only is Thayer’s granola delicious, it’s totally good for you. Super ’Nola Natural contains no re fined sugar. Instead, Thayer uses local honey, raw and unfiltered, and packs each batch with protein and fiber from grains like quinoa, amaranth, and oats. In addition to the original Pumpkin Fig Pecan, Thayer now produces three other tasty combinations. Which is the best? “We’re a house divided on that issue,” she laughs. Luanne’s favorite is Banana Choco Almond, while her son Christian likes the Cranberry Apple Walnut—the best-seller by a nose—and her partner John Hanson prefers Pear Vanilla Hazelnut. Her next project will be granola bars.
Thayer believes wholeheartedly that starting your day off with real food is key to good health. She feels a connection between her products and her customers, and relishes the social contact she gets when promoting her granola one-on-one. Her excitement bubbles over when she talks about Super ’Nola Natural, which she admits to making with close attention to detail and a lot of love.