As founder of Granola Naturals, a Boutique granola enterprise, Mary Vultaggio believes "you are what you eat". When you give your body the nutrition it requires, you create a sense of well-being. The rewards of well-being are: an uplifted spirit, happiness, the energy to tackle new projects and triumph over adversities.
I embrace this in my life. I prepare healthy nutritious meals daily. I learned the benefits of good nutrition from my grandmother and mother who were, what I would consider, similar to modern day health food advocates. As a child, I remember the meals at my grandparent's table. Each plate contained a mound of alfalfa sprouts which we were required to eat! I look back and wonder, "where did my grandmother learn about sprouting?" In the days long before health food stores, my grandmother rarely went grocery shopping. She grew or made most of what her family needed. She made yogurt, ground wheat for the delicious bread she baked, dried apples, raised honeybees, made soap and so much more. This environment instilled the principals of health and nutrition in my mother as well as myself.
Growing up, I remember having what I thought was an "ugly" sandwich of thick homemade bread in my school lunch. At the time what I wanted was the same thin, white bread sandwich with processed cheese that all my friends had. In retrospect, they were probably "drooling" over my sandwich. My mother provided her children with refreshments of Kool Aid mixed with orange juice - no soda drinks for us! Homemade oatmeal cookies, and popcorn instead of potato chips. Our weekly treat was a candy bar on Saturday night. As an adult, I am grateful how I was raised. I am blessed with good health and lots of energy.
Somewhere in my food history, there was homemade granola. I do not recall when I learned to make it, but I carried on the tradition of healthy, natural food while raising my daughters and granola was on of our favorites. My family knows "I cook love in every bite". I have carried that attitude into my professional positions as chef and cook. When beginning to cook professionally, I wanted to share the wonderful, satisfying taste of homemade granola with those at my table and now through the granola products I create for Granola Naturals.￼
I'd like to share my professional history. When my daughters were young I was a caterer. When they were grown, I engaged in my love of traveling and experiencing new cultures. When you learn about the food and the music of a culture you open the door to knowing the people. My work as a chef and cook has been a great vehicle for travel and created many opportunities for me other than restaurant work. On a 6-month sabbatical as a crew member on a sailboat, we sailed the Caribbean, spending several weeks in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and finally the Virgin Islands, where I stayed and made my living as a charter chef for 5 years.
Cooking has given me the opportunity to work on a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, WY, on yachts traveling the Caribbean, Bahamas and the east coast of the United States. I was the guest manager/chef of a large corporate guest/working cattle ranch in Texas, and a personal chef in Colorado. On occasion my employers invited me to travel with them on their private jets, yachts and spend time in their various homes. I even got to play with their toys! I have cooked at a Bed & Breakfast in Tennessee and operated the kitchen at a Drug and Alcohol 90- Day Program, implementing a nutritional diet that included my granola. This was especially rewarding as I watched lives and health restored. It has been my pleasure to meet a variety of interesting people and the good fortune to work for great families. I welcome readers to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the wonderful world of food, cooking and travel.
￼Some of my cooking achievements I am proud of are: winning "Best of Show" and a trip to Paris, sponsored by Grand Marnier's Chef's Cooking Contest during the annual Yacht Show in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Another year I placed second in the Desserts category. I have had recipes published in Cruising World Magazine, Ship to Shore Cookbook Series and the local food section of the St Thomas Daily News. Food is my passion and how fortunate for me that my passion is also my career.
When I decided to settle in one place I chose Tennessee. The mountains and abundant forests inspire in me the natural healthy fundamentals of my childhood. I am surrounded by God's great creation and bounty. The perfect beginning for Granola Naturals and its products.
In the words of our industry's favorite chef Julia Child….Bon Appetit!!
GRANOLA NATURALS has as its mission, "To create and offer good-tasting - healthy snacks that offer many organic ingredients and no preservatives.