Bloomsburg, PA — Rural Business Innovation (RBI) is honored to have had the opportunity to work with Doug Michael, Founder and CEO of Columbia County Bread & Granola since 2010.
Doug Michael started his business as a hobby, and met with RBI and their Executive Director, Kelly O’Brien Gavin, where he decided to go big and begin full-scale production of his 100% sprouted flour-free whole grain bread. Doug also developed a flax seed granola product that is not only healthy but delicious.
Columbia County Bread & Granola has been in the news as well. In the beginning of 2013 the flax seed
granola product was listed as a food to eat in the book, The Plan, written by nutritionist, Lyn Genet-Recitas. Thirty-years of experience in nutrition, homeopathic and eastern medicine, recommending Columbia County Bread and Granola’s, flax seed granola as part of her unique weight loss program.
The Plan, was featured on Dr. Oz and if you watch the clips from that episode, you will see the granola with blueberries that were added, and Dr. Oz having a taste himself. On that day, Columbia County Bread and Granola hit record level of sales.
In August of 2013, this company was featured in Bake Magazine; February 2014 in the Lady’s Home Journal and in Susquehanna Life Magazine during the 2017-18 winter edition and most recently, 2018, the company’s unique bread process was featured in Bakers Guild of America winter spring magazine issue.
In 2013 Columbia County Bread had grown to the point wherein they needed a commercial size kitchen and while trying to remain in our KIZ zone they had set up shop at the Moose Exchange in downtown Bloomsburg, PA. Doug Michael had hired eight (8) people and was working hard to stay up on the orders that kept pouring in and developing new products.
January 2014, the Moose Exchange burned down and Doug lost everything… equipment, inventory, orders that were ready to go, marketing materials, everything GONE.
Doug met with Kelly O'Brien Gavin, and applied for an emergency loan with RBI. Cash was needed to augment eventual insurance funds to buy equipment and materials and maintain payroll. He also needed assistance finding a new location for manufacturing. RBI was able to finance this project and truly cheer on Doug and his team.
Today Columbia County Bread & Granola is posting record revenue growth thru multiple sales channels including their website, ColumbiaCountyBread.com, thru Amazon and a growing list of traditional stores as well as an expanding roster of commercial accounts including; Geisinger Hospital, Juice Press and Geisinger Health Plan Services.