Meet the woman behind Peaceful Oat Granola

Published 3:44 pm Monday, March 13, 2023

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By Sarah Boartfield | Community Columnist

Do you ever wonder what the story is behind the businesses you experience? I have always looked at different people and wondered, “How did they get here?” Allow me to introduce Laken Flowers with Peaceful Oat Granola Company in Clanton.

Flowers is a 20-year-old college student that dealt with an almost life-ending eating disorder and anxiety just a few short years ago. She has been in recovery now for two years. She also has a gluten allergy which makes eating regular foods difficult, if not impossible.

This gym-going entrepreneur has beat the odds and changed her disorder into giving others a healthy option. Flowers suffered from anorexia for many years before going to treatment and changing her focus. With the help of God, family and her treatment team, she is in recovery. Recovery in the fact that she will always have a disorder because it is a daily decision to “have a great day” making healthy choices where food is concerned. She has her daily devotion where she spends time with God at her favorite time of the day, mornings. She said her time with God every day is what gives her peace. Peace with her past, peace for her present day and peace for the future. This is how she came up with the name “Peaceful Oat Granola Company.”

“Peace is my word,” Flowers said. “It gives me comfort. The peace of God. I want people to feel that sense of peace when they meet me or eat the granola that I make.”

Flowers started off just making granola for herself and her family. Asking their opinions on the creations she came up with. Her dad was her first big fan of her concoctions. Then her sister. Flowers decided to check out social media for inspiration on other granola creations. She was working at GNC at the time and began to look for organic healthy options. She wondered if she could make granola for others, so that they too would have healthy options throughout their day.

Flowers started off with $100 and a mission on Amazon to get organic supplies to make her first batch. Cooking in her kitchen at home, she began to make orders for family and friends. At that time, she was making 33 bags, which got a little overwhelming as she was a full-time student, employee, in a relationship and handled most of the business on her own. Now, the business has grown to a current order capacity of 115 bags on only the fourth product drop and going strong. Each product drop seems to bring new customers and more orders. At packaging, the whole family gets involved to be ready for shipping, pickup orders and make deliveries to local customers. Every batch is different, made with love and focused on getting people into a healthier way of eating. When she first started out, Flowers had no idea about the business side of things, marketing or how to meet the demands of customers. All that is changed now.

Plans for her next batch of flavors include Pina Colada, Salted Carmel, “The Monday” (a return of a favorite and diabetic friendly), Hazelnut Mocha Latte and S’mores. Laken usually does only four flavors per drop, but she is giving portions of this drop to NEDA National Eating Disorder Awareness. Laken makes sure that the ingredients she gets for her granola are not only delicious but healthy for you, so she makes it a priority to find organic top-quality ingredients. That’s also why her flavors change with each drop. If it’s not to her standards, then she will not make it.

“With my old thought of hating food, I wanted to change my focus and perhaps others thoughts of food as well,” Flowers said. “A snack that benefits everyone. In a way, it’s my ministry. Showing the Lord through my business. I use granola to cope with those bad days. When food used to terrify me, (it) now has become my source of connection. Not only therapy for me and my body but my brain as well.”

Each of her flavor concoctions are inspired by her life. The “9-5” flavor is like the CEO or the Boss Lady version. “The Monday” is her favorite day of the week. “Balanced Blue” is the practice of balance in her life, her health, her relationships. The “Party Girl” is her social alter-ego and then the “Good Morning” being her favorite part of the day. She is always thinking outside the box.

“My granola is different,” she said. “Have you ever had something that has love, been prayed over while being made and quality products? Its whole foods that each bite is a fun vitamin. A snack that’s good for you. Where movement is meant for celebration not punishment.” Not too bad for a college student that will be transferring colleges in the fall and making this business she has grown into her sole income. That to me takes a lot of faith and determination.

Her future goals include hiring employees, so she can make more product and open a storefront someday. She also hopes to purchase another stove tshe can produce more product and make a product that matters to people. From a woman with an unhealthy relationship with food, Flowers has become a woman who feeds a community the healthy way.