Author Archives: Lin Randolph

The Birth of The Original Cookie + Granola Bark™ (aka Crunch!)

I was born lactose intolerant, as most Asians are. So, eating a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast, as the majority of my friends and family did, was out of the question. In a household where sweetened cereals were banned and shredded wheat ruled, I was out of luck unless I wanted to pretend I was a horse chewing away on a bale of dry hay. Not!

And then came the day when my neighbor introduced me to Cookie Crisp. It was cereal. It was sweetened. It looked a bit like nickel sized Chips Ahoy cookies. Eureka! We sat on the porch and ate these delicious little nuggets off a shared paper plate.

Jump ahead 30+ years. Yeah, 30+.

I still can’t stomach a bowl of cereal with milk. Even with the delicious dairy alternatives we have today, I prefer my cereal dry — a snack to pop into my mouth by the handfuls on the go…or while I watch a movie.

One evening, one of my best girlfriends shared, “I may have eaten a bowl of kettle corn with milk for dinner last night.”

Not too many weeks later, I messaged her, “I may be in bed watching tv eating a bowl of animal crackers.” Her reply? “I hope you’re eating it with milk and a spoon like you’d eat a bowl of cereal.”

Obviously, I have the BEST friends ever!

Many months of recipe development followed. Scraps of paper with notes scattered everywhere. Innumerable tweaks until I was happy with a master recipe. And then innumerable flavor combinations. Flavors were finally narrowed down to four everyday, two autumnal and two winter/holiday. Shelf life was tested (delicious for a minimum of 9 months, baby!). We sold our addictive treat to our local retail partners in bulk for repackaging and using to enhance their in-house edible offerings.

And finally, years later, retail labels have been designed, resealable packaging chosen (because don’t you just hate not being able to reseal a package?!) and my company’s first official retail production run was a success!

And that, my friends, is how the original Cookie + Granola Bark™ (aka Crunch!) product line came to be!

The flavor of cookies! The wholesome 100% whole grain goodness of granola! Snackable chunks of addictive deliciousness!

Available for sale online HERE!

Wholesale inquiries please submit your application HERE and our Sales Manager, Stan Smulewitz, will contact you.

With hope in our hearts, we are searching for a new door…


It is with great sadness that we must inform you, our family, friends and fans, that at the present time it no longer appears we will be able to open our retail facility in Inwood.

The reasons are too numerous to explain in detail, but we believe in being honest and so we felt the responsible thing to do was to post this announcement before questions begin to arise.

Our beautiful banners announcing our arrival to the neighborhood were torn down by a third party. We rescued them just moments ago and they are being stored safely away.

While our business team, investors and attorneys, are still holding onto a sliver of hope we will be able to remain in the space, we must also prepare to find new avenues.

As they say, when one door closes, another opens.

No matter what happens, we are committed to bringing you the best, handmade treats we’re able to produce!

So, here’s to a bright future…wherever that may be!

Two outta three ain’t bad!

2015-03-06 17.32.23

We know you’ve all grown a bit impatient as months have passed since announcing that we had finally found our new home in Inwood. We don’t blame you one bit. We’ve been pretty frustrated and have begun to grow impatient, too, to be quite honest. However, as we have learned many lessons over the past years, nothing is as simple or clear cut as one ever thinks.

But, let’s not dwell on the frustrating stuff. We have exciting news to share! Two of our three work permits (general construction & electrical/HVAC) were issued this week and construction has begun!

It seems almost unreal…except that I’m currently covered in plaster and tile dust.

These pictures may not seem terribly exciting and they’re definitely not pretty in the traditional sense of the word. But they are gorgeous to us because they show the first step in the physical construction of what will become our gorgeous new space and a place where we hope you will all come to feel as at home as we do.

So, step one is tackling the floor. It’s a big task that takes a lot of time and money. The old tile must be removed and the new flooring will be laid. Sound simple? Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the new flooring must be level, include drains and becomes the footprint for what will be the retail and what will be the production kitchen. Not so simple after all, huh?

Now that the proverbial snowball is rolling, we hope you’ll keep watch as it becomes a jolly snowman bringing joy to all!

And that third work permit (plumbing)? It should be issued early next week so we’ll be hitting on all cylinders!

The Amazing Women of Pie-giving 2014!

Our first annual Pie-giving delivery was an emotionally fueled one for me.

These women.

Inspire me to be a better person every day.

These women.

Remind me how strong we can be when we lift one another up.

These women.

Make me smile, laugh and cry.

Thank you for these priceless gifts!

I will remember and cherish this Thanksgiving always.

To all the past, present and future, women of First Step, you are my heroes!

And G-I-A-N-T thanks, hugs and kisses, to all of our family, friends and fans, who helped make this year’s Pie-giving possible! Let’s do it again next year…BIGGER & BETTER!

Here are a few of the amazing women I had the privilege of delivering pies to this year (click on each image to view the full photo):