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Growth Strategies > The Digest

Meet the Entrepreneur Behind the Healthy, Clean Snack Loved by Googlers

How Erica Liu-Williams went from being a tech worker to feeding them with her startup, Gr8nola.
Meet the Entrepreneur Behind the Healthy, Clean Snack Loved by Googlers
Image credit: gr8nola | Instagram

After graduating from Stanford, Erica Liu-Williams ended up working in tech in the Bay Area. After stints at a few startups and larger companies, Liu-Williams says she realized she wasn't that into the work.

"I've been surrounded by so many entrepreneurs, working in the startup environment where you can build, make an impact and create value for yourself and your customers," she says. "I had the constant itch to want to start my own thing, but I'm not passionate about tech."

Related: The Co-Founder of the Mostly Bootstrapped RXBar Shares How He Was Able to Sell His Startup to Kellogg for $600 Million

All the while, she and her husband started an annual tradition of a food cleanse after the Super Bowl. But it was a struggle to find something both crunchy and healthy, she says. She was then inspired by TV's Alton Brown to make her own granola.

It proved to be a huge hit for both her and her husband.

"I finally realized I had a really great product that I'm making at home," Liu-Williams says. "It just happened to be a food product."

She committed to starting a business, and officially founded Gr8nola in 2013. She says she pretty soon got her first big break when Google's snack team (yes, that's really a thing) allowed her product to compete in its snack fair. Googlers liked what they tasted, and Gr8nola is now featured in its offices' micro-kitchens. It also made its way into other big tech offices, such as Twitter, Dropbox and Slack, Liu-Williams says. You can find Gr8nola on its website and Amazon.

Check out the video to watch my conversation with Liu-Williams about scaling her business and expanding it from a B2B focus to selling to consumers as well.