Life in East Hampton is a little sweeter these days, and not just because Mother Nature has been so good to us this summer. Renée McCormack launched FOODfitness in 2013 and people fell in love with her homemade organic, vegan, gluten-free granola clusters at first crunch.
“I really wanted to make something that would be available to anyone who wanted to eat it whether they had no restrictions or one or all three. It was basically a fool-proof line of granola,” McCormack said.
Fool-proof and delicious. McCormack offers three flavors of the granola she makes in her kitchen. The Maple Vanilla Peanut Butter is made with real maple syrup that will bring you back to days of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. McCormack’s favorite and most creative, the Coconut Cranberry Cocoa Nib, boasts a licorice flavor she says is inspired by her Italian roots. Super-food seaweed, which is rich in minerals like calcium and iron, is an ingredient in the Sunflower Superseed Bee Pollen, though you wouldn’t know it by the taste. It’s so sweet McCormack actually used it to top her husband’s ice cream cake this year.
“It was a really good crunch and everyone loved it. I sneak it in where I can.”
FOODfitness’ early success has been a dream for McCormack, who says she’s always had the innate desire to be healthy. Growing up, she played field hockey, swam and ran track, and in 2000 she started a juice business, Bee Organic Juice & Smoothies, in East Hampton. She took time off to focus on being a mom, but McCormack never stopped playing in the kitchen, and her granola was a hit.
“Having snacks is something that’s essential to keeping [my kids] happy, so granola would always be something I would bake before we would head out on the road. I’d make it for people as a holiday gift, too. People would always say I should sell it. I guess it was always sort of happening in some sense.”
And FOODfitness, which can be found at about 20 markets and fitness studios out East like Hampton Marketplace, Truth Training Center and Balsam Farms, is only getting bigger. McCormack is toying with the idea of introducing a line of smoothies and seasonal flavors of granola.
“I like where it’s at at the moment. It’s a very comfortable place, but it’s growing very steadily so I know it’ll jump to the next stage as well so that’s exciting.”