I am a big advocate of eating locally sourced and produced food. Especially when so much love and inspiration has gone into a product, so when I met Kate Foster the lovely lady behind the 100% organic granola ‘Full of Grace’ , I naturally jumped at the chance to have a chat with her and listen to her story.
Kate started making her own granola for her family and friends in 2011 after endlessly searching for a nutritious and tasty breakfast alternative. With no satisfying success, Full of grace was born….
Kate has done some serious research into the production of her granola. FOG is 100% organic and sourced locally where possible.
The granola comes in 3 different flavours, Ginger, Berry and Arabic date, sold at Pope Joan, as well a handful of cafes located through out Melbourne and rural Victoria, plus online.
FOG is packed with nuts, seeds, grains and fruit all delicately balanced to give you a healthy yet scrumptious breakfast. Marry with some creamy organic yoghurt, fresh or poached fruit.
Tell us a little about your background. Has food always been a passion of yours? Does it run in the family?
I grew up in the country but went to boarding school in Melbourne at the age of 15. After school, I did a GAP year in England which planted the seed for my love of travel. Following uni (I studied PR at RMIT) I worked professionally in Melbourne and then abroad in Dubai and London. It was in London that I discovered granola and when I returned to live home I couldn’t find a breakfast cereal that was healthy and delicious. I started making my own granola which led to making it for family and friends and the launch of my business, Full of Grace.
My Mum was a wonderful cook but never gave herself enough credit. She created lovely meals with so much flavour but she didn’t enjoy the process as she would rather be spending the time outside. She loved food and entertaining but gardening was always her real passion.
I have lots of passions – food, fashion, flowers, friends & family!
What are the challenges of a 100% organic market?
In Australia we are limited with organic suppliers so price is biggest issue.
I find it hard to pass on the cost of organic to the end customer so for me, I simply decreased my profit margin. It’s not exactly my greatest business decision but I was determined to sell organic granola and I didn’t want my customers paying a fortune for it.
I spent months baking and testing all different nuts & seeds and oils to come up with the best granola possible. During this time, it was amazing to note even the size/shape/colour of Organic V Non Organic products. It was quite amazing and confirmed the decision to go 100% organic. The bottom line is… you get what you pay for.
Do you have any new FOG flavours or products in the bag that you can share with us?
Full of Grace Granola Bars are in the pipeline for phase 2.
There is definitely a lack of healthy and wholesome snacks in the market, particularly for children, that aren’t full of sugar and nasty additives.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start there own artisan food product?
Take the plunge and go for it!
What are your hopes for the business in the future?
In the near future, I would like to see my products interstate but for now I am simply focusing all my energy on Melbourne and regional Victoria.
I’d also like to see Full of Grace with numerous product lines – I’ve got heaps of ideas but I’m keeping them under wraps for now so I don’t get too distracted.
When you’re not eating FOG for breakfast where is your favourite place to eat breakfast? (Its okay to have more than one!)
I’m completely bias but I love my brother’s café Pope Joan in East Brunswick – it’s my second home!
I also love the cafes that stock my granola as I’m rather selective about where I supply: Dead Man Espresso (South Melbourne), Common Galaxia (Seddon), Café Gaia (South Yarra), Friends of Mine (Richmond), Snow Pony (Balwyn), Porgie + Mr Jones (Hawthorn) plus a host of others.
I also enjoy the cafes in my local neighbourhood – we are spoilt for choice in Fitzroy!
I love having poached fruit in the fridge, not just for breakfast but even a sweet afternoon treat or dessert. I hadn’t poached any quince this year, which is one of my favourite fruits to poach. I love the unusual looking fruit, with its knobbly shape and gorgeous yellow hue. The poached quince goes perfectly with the ginger granola.
Poached quince served with FOG ginger granola
1 cup sugar
Juice 1 orange (approx. ½ cup)
2 ½ cups water
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick (broken)
Place all the ingredients except the quince together in a medium-large saucepan,
Bring to the boil stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, boil for 2-3 mins, and lower heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile peel and core quince. Add the quince to the liquid and cover with baking paper.
Poach for 2 1/2 hours.
The quince will turn from a pale colour to a rich pink, filling your home with a beautiful aroma.
Leave to cool in the pot and transfer to a sealed container. The fruit will keep up to 1 week in the fridge. You can also re-use the syrup to poach more fruit.