For more information on Bulumu Granola, visit bulumugranola.com .
While working out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in 2008, professional triathlete Jasmine Oeinck finally got fed up with the "granola bomb" hanging heavily in her stomach after breakfast.
She disliked the amount of oil added to most granolas, and wanted something lighter and healthier to complement her training regimen. And so the idea for Bulumu Granola was born.
After adrenal fatigue sidelined her racing career in 2010, Oeinck began experimenting with her own granola-creation powers in the kitchen.
She recruited some of her friends and neighbors to try the concoctions, and Oeinck convinced her boyfriend Brandon Bailey to be her business partner -- and Bulumu Granola became a reality.
"You can eat it and go do whatever you want to do," Oeinck said of Bulumu's oil-free granola. "It's not going to weigh you down or make you burp."
While racing and training around the world, Oeinck and her mom Bobbi signed emails, "Buckle up, love you, miss you," which they eventually shortened to "Bulumu." The sentiment behind the email signature seemed to fit with the company's philosophy -- play hard and share your passions with the people around you.
Bulumu's three flavors -- cinnamon chai walnut, orange ginger cranberry and red, white and blueberry -- contain less fat than other granolas because of the absence of oil, Bailey said.
"I wasn't somebody that ever liked granola that much," he said. "Typically, granolas are pretty high in fat and nutritionally aren't that great so I always avoided them."
After eating Oeinck's granola, he changed his mind.
The pair knew it would be a struggle to get a granola business off the ground in a city where health food reigns. With $500, the two bought ingredients from the supermarket and printed labels at home. They wedged their way into local markets, and, in spring 2011 signed a deal with Whole Foods.
Now, Bulumu Granola sits on the shelves in four states and more than 20 locations.
"Yes, it's a crowded category, but the good news is that it's fairly easy for us to create a product on a small scale, and start to get it out there," Bailey said of the company's small beginnings.
The 25-year-old Oeinck said that even though sales have been good, Bulumu will have made it when her favorite rock group tries some granola.
"If either member of the Black Keys ever ate our granola, that would be awesome," she said with a laugh.