A few years ago Marybeth Dickerson, who had been on medications and had been suffering for years with psoriasis, learned about the Paleo Diet through a book and Blog written by Mark Sisson. Marybeth, who has always liked experimenting with foods, decided to give this diet a try, and she stopped eating cereal grains, processed foods and other foods that are restricted on this plan, and ramped up her intake of grass-fed beef and other quality protein foods.
Within a week, she was startled to realize that she no longer needed her medication, her skin had completely cleared up, and she suddenly had a new abundance of energy. She was sold on the Paleo Diet, which is known for decreasing inflammatory conditions in the body. She continued her food experimentation and came up with a coconut-based granola product that people raved about after they’d had a sample.
Marybeth had worked for high-end catering and specialty food companies in Seattle where she learned about the creation of high-quality food products. She says, “I experimented with granola recipes on line, but I felt I could make a better tasting and healthier product.” Her passion for quality foods, nutrition and cooking led her to the development of Primal Island Granola; she had her first bag ready for sale a year and a half ago.
Food was her specialty, but she had little experience in the business of manufacturing and selling food products. Enter Dane Anderson, an entrepreneur and successful businessman who had worked for the Thomas Kemper soda company in Seattle and knew about retail food distribution. Marybeth and Dane both had children in Whidbey Island’s Waldorf School. One day they began talking about what each did, and they realized they had complementary skills that could make Primal Island Granola a sales success.
Today, Primal Island Granola is available in grocery stores and other food distribution sources across Whidbey Island, as well as in health food stores across Western Washington.
A lot of their sales come from their website, and they have some amazing stories to tell. They have shipped Primal Island Granola all over the world, including several bags to a customer in London and two cases to a fan in Saudi Arabia.
The Primal Island Granola is more expensive than traditional cereal-based granolas, but as Marybeth points out, “Grains are inexpensive, even if they’re organic, but the nutritional value of coconut, nuts and seeds is worth the extra money….if people really care about the quality of the foods they are eating.”