BETHLEHEM When Alessandro Gerbini launched Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola less then three years ago at the Delmar Farmers Market, his mission was to share a much-loved family recipe with his neighbors. Today, he’s gone well beyond that goal.
Having recently graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Product Design and Innovation program in 2010, Gerbini said he and his friends spent many late nights cramming for exams while eating his mother’s homemade granola. The snack was already popular with family members and was often given out as gifts during the holidays. Gerbini said his friends at school soon became addicted, as well.
“They’d always ask when to be expecting the next batch,” he said.
With the Gerbini family already having a stand at the market for two years selling Lebanese food, Gerbini thought it would be interesting to also introduce the granola. He started out by renting out nights in the kitchen at his part-time job at Java Jazz Cafe and working through the night.
“I wanted to let people try something they wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” he said.
Soon, the whole family was helping to come up with new flavor concepts. To expand the business, Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola partnered with All Good Bakers in Albany to share kitchen space. Gerbini said the arrangement worked out well, but to meet demand even more space was needed.
The company now has a 2,000-square-foot space leased within the Broadway Commerce Business Park in Schenectady through the help of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority.
Now with three flavors, Gatherer’s Gourmet Granola sells its products in stores across 11 states, including in grocery chains like Price Chopper and ShopRite. Gerbini said an average of 1,000 pounds of granola is made at the new facility each week, and estimates the company is growing by about 25 percent each month.