By Madison Jackson
In 2015, Katie Rhodes began training for her first marathon. Constantly hungry from her busy schedule, granola bars became her go-to snack until she took a closer look at the ingredients she was putting in her body. Most traditional granola bars are highly processed and packed with sugar. Looking to keep herself both full and healthy for her training, Katie decided to make her own granola bar using healthier ingredients and the Charlie Bar was born: a dark chocolate, apricot, and almond bar. Not long after, friends and coworkers began placing orders for bars and the personal venture became a business: TogaNola was formed. “With a mission to provide clean energy for everyone who aspires to be a better version of themselves,” says Rhodes.
In the past 6 years, TogaNola has expanded its range beyond its now 5 flavors of granola bars, adding granola clusters and “protein bombs” in a variety of flavors, like Maple Almond Butter and Blueberry & Ginger Sunflower Seed. All TogaNola products are free of gluten, dairy, and soy, and several flavors are vegan, so there are many options to accommodate dietary restrictions of all types. The business is committed to using locally sourced ingredients, compostable packaging, natural sweeteners (such as local honey and maple syrup), and small-batch baking.
Whether it’s a hike on a warm summer morning or skiing on a cold winter day, granola is the perfect snack for all types of adventures. Rhodes can attest to that herself: TogaNola granola bars and clusters have accompanied Katie on countless trips including a single season round of the 46 High Peaks last winter. “The bars are hearty and easily transported in a mess free package. They don’t freeze solid, even in the freezing winter temperatures in the Adirondacks, which is crucial to support Katie on her big hikes,” says husband and co-owner Ken Rhodes.
TogaNola got its start selling at local farmers’ markets and has recently expanded to include an online store and partnerships with local businesses. Katie and Ken are excited to be joining the Saratoga Farmers’ Market as an opportunity to interact directly with their customers and meet other local vendors.
TogaNola’s next adventure? Handmade, locally sourced dehydrated meals to fuel trips that span multiple days. Keep an eye out for this new product later this year at the farmers’ market, and stay full and fueled with TogaNola’s granola bars, clusters, and protein bombs, available every Saturday at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.
This week’s recipe: Summer Berry Parfait