Delivering food for thought is nothing new for Christine Daues. As a local news producer, reporter and anchor, Christine worked for years to captivate audiences with her words and engage them with her reports. After having her second child, Christine now works to captivate local taste buds and engage the spirit of giving with Granolove.
Momtrepreneur: Christine Daues
Business name: Granolove
Business established: August 2010
Children: Joey, 6, and Jude, 4
What was your career in your past life before being a momtrepreneur?
I was a broadcast journalist, starting my career at 19 as an intern in the “Five on Your Side” Consumer Unit at WEWS-ABC in Cleveland, Ohio. I worked for 17 years in TV news as a producer, reporter and anchor in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio; Springfield, Mo.; and Tulsa, Okla.
What inspired you to leave that career behind and become a momtrepreneur?
My family. When Jude was born she was diagnosed with FFU Syndrome (Femur, Fibula Ulna Syndrome). Jude’s bones did not develop correctly in the womb; as a result she faces physical challenges on her left and right arms, left hand, right leg and spine.
My husband and I were working as evening co-anchors for the ABC affiliate in Springfield after Jude was born. That meant we both had to be at the TV station from 2 to 11 p.m. Trying to juggle two different daycares during the afternoon (my son was old enough to be in a pre-school; Jude was not) and get them both picked up after daycares closed, plus coordinate care for them at night at our house was very taxing. We didn’t have any family in town at the time, and the stress of all that juggling was taking its toll on our family.
Facing Judes’ surgeries, physical therapies and multiple hospital visits to St. Louis, plus everything I mentioned above, put us in a place where a change had to be made. I left my TV career behind and started Granolove.
At the time the answer was because I was already making it, and we believed in the product—it is unique! But in hindsight, I think the big reason Granolove is out there is because it was marketable.
We had a great tasting product, but there are hundreds of people out there making great tasting products in their kitchens. There are a thousand steps between your kitchen and getting it into the hands of consumers at the grocery store. I had been making this granola recipe for a while, developed it from scratch and my family and friends loved it. A friend encouraged us to try to start selling it. We started at the local farmers market in Springfield, and it grew from there.
Who came up with the name Granolove?
My husband Joe (and he’ll never let me live it down).
It’s a simple brand that gets the point of the product across immediately. Granolove tells people it’s granola, and they know there’s an extra level to the brand with the “love.” That extra level is Shriners.
How did the partnership between Granolove and Shriners begin?
Our daughter Jude has been treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis since she was born. They have outstanding pediatric orthopedic services administered by world-renowned doctors. Even with that level of service, there are some things modern medicine just can’t fix for Jude…yet. There is no way to regrow the bones she’s missing on her left arm and hand now. But we hope somewhere down the road there will be.
We hope to grow Granolove big enough so we can fund major bone development research projects for kids. Right now, the money is donated directly to Shriners Hospital in St. Louis. They designate it for whatever their most pressing needs are, for example Shriners does NOT charge any patient for care. So Granolove’s donations are helping to offer life-changing treatments to kids who may not have access to them otherwise.
As Granolove’s donations continue to grow, we’ll earmark for specific research projects. Right now, we give 10% of Granolove’s profits to Shriners.
For moms wanting to eat healthier/more local but are apprehensive, what kind of advice would you give?
Go to your local farmers market with your kids, walk around, ask questions, sample. For new moms, I would say start right from the beginning with your kids. Our children have never known a weekly menu without fresh vegetables and fruit on it. We’ve been eating Granolove for breakfast since they could chew solid foods. It’s all about what they are exposed to from the start and what they see you eating. So I try to set a good example…most of the time.
What has been the toughest part of starting/sustaining your own business?
The first two years. Trying to make enough Granolove by myself in a kitchen I rented here in Springfield was bone-tiring work. I think I permanently injured my right shoulder from all the hand stirring. My Mom and Dad moved here and started helping me after a while—that was a Godsend! And then after mornings of baking and packaging and cleanup, I would go home and take care of two young children, try to keep our household and do the bookwork on the business at night. That was just plain exhausting!
The most rewarding part? Giving our check to Shriners every year. And having someone come up to me and say, “I bought your Granolove and I love it!” I will never get sick of hearing that.
What kind of advice would you give to moms thinking about starting their own business?
Get a good support network in place. My husband is an amazing partner on the business, as well as in life. There’s no way this would have succeeded without him stepping up to take over parenting duties in the mornings before he went to his full-time job (he’s still doing that 2 to 11 p.m. nightly news shift) and pitching in on the household and the business work. I’m going to thank him right now in this article: “Thank you, Joe!”
Also, research, research, research. The more you can learn about the business you want to go into before you take that step, the better. I worked at a food marketing company for three years before I launched Granolove. Having that experience and the connections to people who lived in the food marketing world made a huge difference for Granolove.
What has been the hardest part of being a mom?
The lack of sleep. How do people adjust??? I still haven’t.
The most rewarding part?
I’m living the most rewarding part every day. I get to be the person who takes Joey and Jude to school and picks them up every day. I’m the one they tell about their day and show their schoolwork to right after school when the memories are fresh and they’re ready to talk. I get to spend the days and nights with them all summer. I’m the one who gets to witness and shape the majority of their young lives. I know some situations don’t allow Moms to do that; I used to be in that situation. I’m incredibly grateful that Granolove has allowed me to take back what I feel is the most rewarding part of motherhood, just being with my kids. Because I know soon enough, they will be more interested in their (insert: friends, sports, social lives) than Mom. I’m soaking it all up now while I can!
Phone: (417) 496-6425
Location: Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks (Republic Rd. and Glenstone Ave.)