It started with the search for the perfect granola.
More than 30 years ago, Ocean View resident Susie Bond started running, and she wanted a healthy breakfast that would give her energy to last through her morning run and into her busy day.
When she couldn't find a manufactured granola she liked, Bond turned to her own kitchen and started making every healthy granola recipe she could find. Then she tinkered and toyed with the recipes, soon coming up with a no-oil recipe she loved.
Now Bond sells her wild oats across the Cape Region. Recently, with her sister and husband, she opened a booth at Unique Boutiques on Route 1, just north of Surf Bagel.
"My husband and I used to own Sea Voice bed and breakfast in Rehoboth, so I would always have hot dishes and a big bowl of my granola," Bond said. "Customers would always rave about the granola. Many told me I should sell it."
After the couple sold the bed and breakfast, Bond decided she would try selling the granola.
She took entrepreneurial classes at Delaware State University and got the necessary business licenses.
Susie's Wild Oats LLC features sumptuous granola bars with chocolate chips and coconut; choconola - clusters of granola, nuts and dried cranberries drenched in white, dark or milk chocolate with just the right combination of gooey and crunchy; and her favorite granola, made with organic rolled oats, fruit and nuts.
"I'm just having such fun with it," Bond said.
Bond is now making specialized items for people on gluten-free diets, who are allergic to nuts and diabetics.
"It's really becoming a niche for me; I'm trying to meet what people need," Bond said. "I think that's what's great about a local business; instead of deciding what I think people want, I let people come to me and tell me what they want."
The nutrition labels on all of Susie's Wild Oats were verified by Beebe nutritionists. Bond uses natural juices to sweeten her products to keep the sugar content low. Her granola has less than 3.9 grams of fat per serving, she said.
A real estate agent with Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's, Bond's outgoing attitude and southern charm help her network to sell her products.
At the state wrestling tournament, she met the owner of Surf Bagel and won him over. Her products are now sold at the restaurant. Her granola is also sold at Dorman's Donut Shoppe and three Kick n' Chicken restaurants.
She's sold almost 4,000 pounds of granola without advertising. It's been enjoyed on mission trips overseas through Epworth United Methodist Church and it's been sent to at least 12 states, Bond said.
"I've always loved to bake," Bond said. "I'm not just making it for myself; I am trying to make something healthy for the community."
For more information on Susie's Wild Oats, go to her Facebook page or call 302-542-8667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unique Boutique is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If Bond is not available, orders can still be made and paid for at the shop's cash register.