Adriana Jurisa (a doctor by profession) gave us insights in to building her Granolarama business. She shared with us some of the challenges, that she and her partner Sandra (an engineer), faced along the journey. The event showcased how to set up a business in Poland, without having any knowledge of the language. Today her business extends to PURO Hotel!
Learning: Follow your dream with a passion and results can be magical.
We at here we are Poland are proud to share Adriana’s story with you. Written by Agata Kiedrowicz at PURO Mag and photos by Dziamski Studio for PURO Hotels.
The text originally appeared in PURO Mag.
It’s a brisk April morning. After the long-lasting winter, the sunny terrace at PURO Poznań feels irresistibly inviting. We sit by the table. Adriana welcomes me with a big smile and a bowl exuding the smell of the sun and nuts. I sink my spoon in crispy granola… I know it’s going to be a wonderful day.
– Everything came so naturally, like something out of nothing. I simply took what I’d been giving my children for breakfast and started producing it on a larger scale. One thing led to another, and here I am… – Adriana says modestly. Last year, she created Granolarama, a small business specializing in original granola mixes consisting of various grains and crispy nuts combined with healthy and savoury extras. As we speak, PURO is hosting a photo shoot inaugurating the introduction of Adriana’s products to our breakfast menu. I am the observer; I keep crunching and asking questions.
Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller
Traveling is the state of mind, but in Adriana’s case, it’s also the state of… her stomach. After all, if it weren’t for her family’s nomadic way of living (directly related to her husband’s work), she would not feel so inspired by the tastes and cuisines of the world. Food is the key to any culture, quality being for Adriana a perfect guide through its many different paths. So, during her three-year stay in the US, she would gorge herself on American street food, she and her family enjoying the taste of Croatian lamb and Polish sour rye soup prepared on site from top-quality ingredients and according to tried-and-trusted recipes. Last but not least, traveling teaches you how to be resourceful and compact. In this respect, homemade granola proved nothing but
…a natural end-result of traveling
Just because it’s light, healthy, and perfectly balanced. Full of nutrients, with practically no additives. You can take it everywhere and eat however you like–a quick snack straight out of the box or a balanced meal with your favorite fruit and yoghurt. How did Adriana’s personality and way of living give rise to delicious granola?
I am passionate about and specialize in preventive medicine with a focus on children. Unfortunately, I couldn’t run a practice on my own in the US due to language barriers and difficulties with obtaining a license there. So I decided to focus on my hobby–food and eating–and started seeing it as part of my occupation. When you eat well, your body stays healthy and in good shape. It doesn’t fail you. The importance of it is invaluable, especially for children.
Here’s when Adriana had to confront life. How do you feed your family well from the very morning, when everyone is rushing around, with children most likely to just grab a sweet something on their way to school? The challenge she had to face was to come up with a recipe that would include all the necessary nutrients while keeping the meal tasty and attractive. With that in mind, granola seemed like a perfect choice. She started by cleverly adding cocoa and hazelnuts to the mix of grains, which probably won over the kids’ hearts and stomachs, bringing them the recognizable taste of a certain chocolate spread… Everything went smoothly from that moment on. It was November–a season perfect for warming ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon accents. Adriana prepared quite an amount of granola for a Christmas market organized at her kids’ school. Unsurprisingly, it disappeared in the blink of an eye. – The market opened at 9 a.m. and an hour later I was standing behind an empty table. I thought: what if I can actually turn it into something?
Here comes the sun
That’s when the most difficult part came: all the formalities related to opening your own business, renting a kitchen, and obtaining certificates. – I have to admit, though, that whenever I went I would meet people willing to help me. I’ve made a lot of friends – she laughs. It couldn’t have been different. You get what you give. And Adriana is giving everyone a piece of the sun.
At the moment, PURO Hotels is Granolarama’s biggest client. But you can taste and/or buy Adriana’s granola in several spots in Warsaw. – I choose my clients carefully. I want my product to be sold in a place that values health, beauty, and the local. All I do is made with great attention to detail and all the nutrients (healthy fats, carbohydrates, protein). Most ingredients (except for cocoa and coconut oil) come from Poland. I am very proud to be making a local, Polish product despite my Croatian roots. I live in Poland and that’s how I show it my respect.
Food is an international language, isn’t it? Adriana seems to have found her own…
…key to culture
A Slav born in Zagreb, Adriana speaks fluent Croatian and Russian. Unfortunately, Polish is not that easy for her to learn. – You have to find your way to immerse yourself in the culture that surrounds you in order to integrate – she says. –Warsaw is open and cosmopolitan, however it also happens to be hermetic and hardly accessible to foreigners. Once you find your key–your places, your design, interesting people–that’s when you’re all in!
What does she find the most fascinating about Polish culture?
A unique blend of the old and the new, especially in design and art. You can see it with every step you take–in the space around you, architecture, and small art galleries and boutiques you discover on your walks around the city. Polish creators are amazingly talented; they have so much to offer to the rest of Europe, much more that it is being presently acknowledged. We, Croatians, with a similar legacy and history, can’t seem to find our way to convey it in a creative way.
Adriana’s love for Polish design has made her buy graphic art by artists from the Polish School of Posters as gifts for her friends. – They’re incredible. And totally accessible when it comes to price! What about Polish tastes? Well, Adriana believes Polish soups are truly representative of our country’s cuisine. Chicken soup, sour rye soup, beetroot soup… And cakes, always with a cup of good coffee. Also, let’s not forget about exquisite Polish bread. Adriana values traditional, family-owned bakeries and confectioneries and the coming back to the roots of craftsmanship–manual, often monotonous work. Sometimes, like in Adriana’s case, it may mean throwing yourself in the deep end.
You learn as you go
The idea starts budding in your head, so you just learn as you go, for there’s no other way to do that. Then, you either move forward or give up. It’s not easy, but I do enjoy this process. It’s like trying to find your way out of a burning house.
When it comes to Granolarama, Adriana is in charge of everything–from making granola to contacting clients and managing PR. As the business grows, individual tasks are handed over to others, which is difficult because, as she admits, she likes having control over quality. Her dreams? One of them–Granolarama in PURO–has already come true. The time has come for other challenges–obtaining an EU organic certification and then selling granola in cool organic stores across the country. The more distant future may bring her own, tiny yet cozy granola store–located somewhere downtown and looking as if taken out of a child’s dream.
– I would love to stay in Warsaw, but even if we have to move, I will always be connected to Poland through Granolarama. As a person who travels often, I can see that there are no boundaries, especially in Europe. You think of a place and you are there in a matter of hours. You broaden your horizons–this whole space stops being just a market and becomes your home.
A home in which there’s always time for homemade granola.