Artisans: With all the good bits

By Alexia Santamaria

Granpa BB's muesli. Photo / Supplied
Granpa BB's muesli. Photo / Supplied

The name Granpa BB's muesli and the picture of the smiling grandfather on its packet probably doesn't conjure up images of a criminal defence lawyer who has worked in South Auckland for 40 years. Just goes to show, don't judge a cereal by its bag.

Frank Hogan first made his muesli in the 70s as he wanted a good start to his busy working days as a young lawyer and was frustrated with the lack of truly good muesli. It's a complaint you hear often - modern breakfast cereal full of oats, dotted sparingly with fruit and coated in sugar.

So he turned it on its head. Instead of 60 per cent oats, Frank's mueslis included more than 60 per cent fruit and nuts and the rest cereal. There are 28 ingredients in total including bran, oats, wheatgerm, buckwheat, oatbran, seeds, nuts and a raft of fruit (all the usual suspects plus things like blueberries cherries and pineapple). The muesli is toasted in vanilla, cinnamon, honey and maple syrup so, though not free of natural sugars, it's definitely free of processed ones.

Frank says it was about three years ago on a boat off the coast of Norway, somewhere above the Arctic Circle (he has travelled extensively) that he made the decision to shift the muesli he's made for his family for four decades into a commercial venture.

We're awfully glad he did. Launched last month at the Food Show, Granpa BB's is already a big success. Frank is thrilled to receive feedback from people saying it's the first bought muesli they've liked and that previously they've had to make their own due to lack of commercial supply.

"I love the feedback from those real muesli lovers," he says. "I shared their frustration." In fact, on his website, he even offers to post out a free sample to any genuine muesli lovers.

It is outstanding muesli. Perfect texture, lots of variety and not one flavour too overpowering. The enormous mix of ingredients means you get a bit of everything in one bite - nutty flavour, a sweet burst of dried fruit, some cereal and some seeds. Impeccable balance. I also loved it as a topping on thick Greek-style yoghurt and fruit.

Frank's daughter, well-known fashion designer Juliette Hogan, is right behind his new venture.

"I can only hope to be as successful as her with my business one day."

We're fairly sure he will be.

Where to buy

Clevedon Farmers Market and online.

- NZ Herald

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