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.

learn more about Stephen J. Bronner

By Stephen J. Bronner • Oct 10, 2018 Originally published Feb 2, 2018

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.

Stephen J. Bronner

Entrepreneur Staff

News Director

Stephen J. Bronner writes mostly about packaged foods. His weekly column is The Digest. He is very much on top of his email.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This Co-Founder Was Kicked Out of Retailers for Pitching a 'Taboo' Beauty Product. Now, Her Multi-Million-Dollar Company Sells It for More Than $20 an Ounce.
Have You Ever Obsessed Over 'What If'? According to Scientists, You Don't Actually Know What Would Have Fixed Everything.
Most People Don't Know These 2 Things Are Resume Red Flags. A Career Expert Reveals How to Work Around Them.
Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Business News

Survey: A Majority of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Sixty-four percent of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck — even those who earn more than $100,000 a year.

Business News

Massive Fire At Top Egg Farm Leaves Estimated 100,000 Hens Dead. What Does This Mean For Egg Prices?

Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut went up in flames on Saturday in an incident that is still under investigation.

Business News

'This Just Can't Be for Real': Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland is Now Hiring For His New Tech Company -- And He's Already Selling Merch

McFarland was released from house arrest last September and is currently being ordered to pay $26 million in restitution to fraud victims.

Business Solutions

5 Procurement Trends To Keep on Your Radar for 2023

Procurement professionals must adapt to inflation and a shortage of skilled labor in the face of an economic recession. Investing in a workforce paired with retraining and development strategies will put your company on top amid economic uncertainty.

Marketing

How Promotional Pricing Devalues Your Brand

Promotional pricing and discount pricing strategies can cost brands millions in lost sales by promoting unprofitable buying behavior. This article will discuss the long-term impact discounts can have on a brand.