By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It started as a joke, an offhanded remark about granola between an Ely man and his wife.

Eight years later, that joke has turned into a full time job and a company with a name you won’t forget: Crapola.

“I said wouldn’t it be funny if we made cranbarry and called it Crapola. And that’s the honest truth,” founder Brian Strom said. “The tagline — ‘Makes even weird people regular’ — I came up with that all by myself.”

Strom may laugh about the name and the marketing, but the granola itself is serious business.

“I think the name is what grabs people’s attention at first,” Strom said. “I like to think the quality, you’re not gonna buy it twice if it literally tastes like crapola.”

Rolled oats alone doesn’t give much flavor. Brian’s recipe uses barley, rye, pecans, puffed rice, and grains like flax seed and millet. Strom uses honey and maple syrup as a sweetener. everything in there is organic and natural.

The original had cranberry and apple. And then they came up with a second flavor with cranberry and orange. They called it (what else?) “Number 2.”

Last year, Strom says they sold 40,000 pounds, or in less technical terms, a crapload.

From a farmers market in Ely, now you can find Crapola in grocery stores throughout the Twin Cities. If it’s not in a store near you, you can order it online.

Jason DeRusha

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