Fit for a Snack
Solana Beach entrepreneur makes granola good
Posted on June 11, 2018
If you really want to learn about the best foods to fuel your body, look no further than a fitness professional. For certified personal trainer and mom of two Tammy D’Onofrio, it’s granola. Searching for healthy snacks that were also delicious, she started whipping up her own homemade recipe. It was so good that friends took notice and encouraged her to think beyond her Solana Beach kitchen, beyond bagging up the homemade treat in her kids’ lunches.
Though not a nutritionist, her profession gave her insight to the best types of foods that are both satisfying and have nutritional value. While trends can be confusing, D’Onofrio says, “The reality is, it’s pretty basic. You have to have carbs, you have to have protein, and you have to have fat.” She created her granola to contain all of the above in one tasty snack.
D’Onofrio launched FitChick Lifestyle Brands in 2014, and the granola hit shelves that October. Since its inception, she says that positive customer feedback has kept her pushing the brand forward. While plans to broaden her product suite are further in the future as she focuses presently on expanding the existing FitChick footprint in premium retailers, she is always looking ahead. “What I would love to do every day is be in my kitchen and create [more] products like this,” she says, but she remains pragmatic. “It would be so great to have six flavors and we’re covering this whole [store] shelf, but it’s just not feasible right now. But we will get there, absolutely.” Though the company is completely self-funded, D’Onofrio says she is looking at taking on investors to help her achieve expansion goals.
She credits strong, knowledgeable advisors for guiding her along her FitChick journey. “If I hadn’t had people help me along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am,” she says, citing another local entrepreneur, Nuttzo founder Danielle Livolsi, as a key mentor. That guidance, along with her own personal commitment, pushes her through the challenges that come with launching a business. “If you look too far ahead, it can be very intimidating. If I had known four years ago that it would be so hard, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to keep going. So, I just take it one step at a time.”
D’Onofrio could easily be seen as a role model for others, just as others have inspired her. “If I can do something like this, there is no limit to what anybody can accomplish,” she says. “I see some women and they tell me, ‘You are motivating to me. You make me feel like I can do it.’ And that’s what it’s all about right there.”
FitChick granola can be found locally at Seaside Market, Jimbo’s, Gelson’s, Lazy Acres, Baker & Olive, and on the FitChick website. fitchickgranola.com Deanna Murphy
Photo by Bob Stefanko