Crunch! Eliana and Ariella's granola business success

Eliana Benjamin (left) and Ariella Esfandi, makers of Crunch!

Eliana Benjamin (left) and Ariella Esfandi, makers of Crunch! - Credit: Crunch!

Two St John’s Wood teenagers have inadvertently started a business, making and selling granola, after going on a lockdown health kick.

Eliana Benjamin, 17, who goes to Mill Hill School, and Ariella Esfandi, 16, who attends Queen's College, were consistently seeing preservatives and artificial flavourings in shop-bought granola and began making their own, now known as Crunch!.

“Last summer, I started to get very healthy and into clean eating, trying to reduce my sugar and learning about all these unhealthy ingredients that would go into foods," said Eliana. 

"And I remember wanting to buy granola from the store and I would look on the back and they'd all have so many syrups or preservatives or so much sugar."

Eliana Benjamin and Ariella Esfandi's Crunch! granola

Eliana Benjamin and Ariella Esfandi's Crunch! granola - Credit: Crunch!

The girls began making their own granola for themselves and their families as a healthier alternative, and have now sold more than a thousand units.

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“The whole family loved it, and it started to be that the cousins wanted some, friends wanted some. So they would just make extra and pass it on,” said Patricia Benjamin, Eliana’s mother.

Eliana said they began taking orders from friends and acquaintances through WhatsApp.

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“As it started to get bigger and more people were asking for it, we thought a better way to advertise new products instead of messaging each individual person was to make an Instagram account,” she said.

The girls use premium ingredients including A-grade maple syrup to make their organic, gluten free granola, which has no preservatives or artificial flavours, and have plans to set up a website in the near future.

“That is definitely something we’re looking at, because it would be great to have other ways that people can order, and a clear way of seeing all our products and things like that,” Ariella said.

The friends became close through their families and are juggling A levels alongside granola-making, which they do at the weekends to get their studying done in the week.

The entrepreneurs made Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) gift boxes and plan to do more holiday packages.

“For Halloween, we’re going to experiment with granola bars, and the granola bars we sort of decorate and make them look a bit scary and fun to kids. And then we’ll do pumpkin spice flavour granola so it changes every season,” said Eliana. 10% of earnings on holiday gift boxes will go to Make A Wish Foundation.

Follow Crunch! at

Eliana Benjamin and Ariella Esfandi's Crunch! granola

Eliana Benjamin and Ariella Esfandi's Crunch! granola - Credit: Crunch!

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