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January 5, 2021 20 min

“The snacks that they had at the food pantries were not as nutritious as I would've liked, and they also contained things that my children were allergic to. And so, I started thinking about what would help satiate my husband's appetite, but would also taste good to my children. After speaking with my aunts, I came up with a recipe for a granola bar that was packed with really delicious ingredients, but that was nutritiously dense.”

As a mother of five, Mary Molina began making granola bars when her family was confronted with economic hardship and had to rely on food assistance programs and food pantries. Faced with the need to provide her children with affordable, healthy and nutritious snacks, Mary began experimenting in her own kitchen, eventually perfecting her granola bar recipes. Gradually, Mary’s snacks gained fame in her neighborhood, and with the support of local small business groups and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, she was able to build her company, named Lola Snacks after her daughter, into a successful brand. Today, Lola Snacks is distributed by national retailers, like Walmart, and gives back by supporting organizations that fight hunger and local food banks to support kids who depend on food assistance.

Tune in to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn about Mary’s experiences as a successful entrepreneur who had her share of challenges and how she keeps her family involved in Lola Snacks even as the company has grown far beyond her home kitchen. 

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