3X3 Granola- Jonathan Edward
When Jonathan first started 3x3 Granola with his mother Sharmika not too long ago, he certainly didn’t expect for it to take off as fast as it did! Something that began as a personal endeavour to eat healthily, became a fast-growing business almost overnight with more Sri Lankans becoming aware of the importance of living a healthier lifestyle and making better food choices!
The biggest setbacks for those looking to make healthier food choices is often the
convenience factor. Jonathan, who is on his way to becoming an architect, would always buy his breakfast while he walked from Town Hall to his workplace located on Ward Place daily. With so many small bakeries in the vicinity, his breakfast was always a quick, but unhealthy one of pastries or some other baked goods that he would wash down with a delicious but loaded with sugar, vanilla milk- definitely not a great start to the day! Tired of his unhealthy eating habits, Jonathan made the conscious decision at the start of 2018 to start eating healthier and the answer was granola- affordable, convenient and quick!
Instead of looking for ready-made granola options, Jonathan decided to try making it himself and enlisted the help of his mother to do this. Already focused as a family on looking for natural and healthy alternatives, this wasn’t a hard task for Jonathan and his mother Sharmika, an associate pastor who was already a pro at creating delicious and unusual juice combinations such as green apple with ginger and beetroot with sweet potato. After creating their first batch of delicious, homemade granola, Jonathan started taking it to work and it was then that he realized the demand when so many of his colleagues wanted to try it too! Just a week after making it for the first time, Jonathan and his family started making
their granola for orders and there was no looking back after that- 3x3 Granola was here to stay!
“The ingredients we use in our granola are both imported and locally sourced. For example, the fruits, seeds and nuts used in our Original Granola are imported, while the peanuts and dark chocolate for our Peanut Butter Granola is sourced locally. We’ve opted to use kithul treacle as a sweetener in all our granola since it’s vegan-friendly and it also allows us to support local businesses,” explained Jonathan. 80% Sri Lankan at the moment, Jonathan’s goal is to make all his granola 100% Sri Lankan and as affordable as possible- a daunting task, but something he is committed to achieving soon!
Offering a range of different flavours and combinations, Jonathan explains that it takes a lot of experimenting and many failed attempts before he’s convinced that any flavour is breakfast ready! While they have a few standard options available at all times such as their Original Granola or Peanut Butter Granola, 3x3 Granola also releases seasonal combinations such as their Gingerbread Granola, Apple Pie Granola and many more.
“All the ingredients for each variant are carefully selected for their health benefits,
flavour, mouthful and appearance in the overall mix. For example, the flax seeds in our Original Granola do nothing for its flavour or mouth-feel but are a great source of protein and fibre,” said Jonathan.
3x3 Granola started as a family business in every sense with Jonathan and Sharmika cutting up the ingredients, toasting the oats and packing the granola themselves, while Jonathan’s father, Lakshman, a financial consultant, helping with the Sunday deliveries. While the company has expanded since its beginning with three wonderful ladies- Dillka, Sonali and Ramani joining the team, it still remains a very close-knit, family environment where Ramani’s husband, Manjula having also come on board to help with deliveries on Sunday.
Apart with assisting with the manufacturing of the granola and delivery, Jonathan explained that Dilka, Sonali, Ramani and Manjula play a big role in product development too. They provide great insight when it comes to new additions to the 3x3 Granola product range with their wealth of local knowledge that has been especially helpful in the development of some fun, new flavours which will be released this year!
Environmentally conscious, Jonathan wanted to use only eco-friendly packaging for all 3x3 Granola products and as such decided on glass bottles sourced from the only glass manufacturer in Sri Lanka. Taking things a little further, 3x3 Granola products have tie on labels that are manufactured in-house, as research has shown that consumers are more likely to reuse glass jars if they don’t have to spend excessive amounts of time removing glued on labels etc.
What started as a personal endeavour has now grown to become an initiative to help others become more aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and Jonathan expects to see 3x3 Granola grow consistently over the years with a repertoire of new flavours in the pipeline!
“Getting into the habit of eating healthy is the hardest part. Don't let one bad day end your journey. Keep at it and it will all be worth it!”