Prior to founding Seven Sundays with her husband Brady, Hannah Barnstable spent seven years at an investment bank working on mergers and acquisitions for food and consumer companies in Chicago and New York. Oftentimes she got to work directly with the original founders of the companies. In many ways, these entrepreneurs provided the inspiration for launching her own company. After an inspiring trip to New Zealand, the Barnstables brought breakfast muesli to the United States, deciding that the concept of Sunday breakfast doesn’t have to happen just one day a week.
Q: One trip to New Zealand changed your life. Can you delve a little more into your love for breakfast and how you made the decision to create your own muesli and start your own company?
A: Yes, I am a morning person and I love breakfast. Most days, I eat two breakfasts—one first thing and another mid-morning. I truly believe it is the most important meal of the day. But, in the United States, breakfast options are significantly lacking in nutrition and taste (think puffs, flakes, shreds and o’s). When Brady and I got hooked on muesli in New Zealand, we figured we would surely be able to find a muesli back home. To our surprise, there were very few options and all were dusty and bland—nothing like the delicious toasted mueslis in New Zealand. So, we began making our own. And that is how it all started!
Q: How did you come up with the Seven Sundays name?
A: Eat like you do on a Sunday every day of the week! For us, breakfast is more than a meal, it’s a time. A time to enjoy fresh coffee, the newspaper and the moments before the day takes hold—like a Sunday morning. We want our mueslis to be a reminder to enjoy breakfast time on Sunday and every day of the week.
Q: Why is it important to you to keep your product line all-natural?
A: Eating is the most important thing we do for our bodies. I am a firm believer that if we choose foods that are the way nature intended them to be, we will feel better and our bodies will be healthier.
Q: You have honey in all four varieties of muesli. Why do you love working with honey?
A: When I first developed the muesli recipes, I thought I wanted to use agave nectar. But when the Minnesota Department of Agriculture reviewed my ingredient labels, they said I needed to change “agave nectar” to “hydrolyzed inulin syrup.” I was appalled, and in the end, I liked the flavor of honey way better than alternatives.
Q: Can you talk about the choice to get your honey from Minnesota?
A: We are focused on minimizing our food miles. That means that we get as much as we can from local sources. Approximately 2/3 of our ingredients come from sources within 150 miles of production facility. So, they travel less and we are supporting local businesses.
Q: Any plans to expand your product line?
A: Perhaps someday, but right now we are focused on expanding our distribution of our mueslis. In May, we are launching with our first national distributor! So we are still pretty young with lots of room to grow. In the future, we will consider expansion into other healthy breakfast foods like muesli bars, hot cereal, etc.