“It’s not just about making another packaged granola for people to buy, it’s about sharing the idea that food that’s good for you can also taste good.”
By Jennifer Proe
Who: Rachel Ruthenbeck
Where: Lomond neighborhood
Business: HippieChick Noms, a whole food, plant-based granola company. All of our granolas are sweetened with fruit leaving out the added sugar and oil, so you can feel good about eating granola.
Mission: To spread health and wellness through great tasting food.
What I Love About My Work: I love being in the kitchen and making great tasting, healthy food. Even more though, I love meeting new people who are looking for great tasting, healthy food. It’s not just about making another packaged granola for people to buy, it’s about sharing the idea that food that’s good for you can also taste good. I feel like I’m winning every time people try my granola for the first time and are surprised at how much they like it.
Personal Background: I grew up in Cleveland Heights. For most of my life I wanted to be a writer and, as I got older, I wanted to be a screenwriter and work in TV. With that goal in mind, I went to film school in Vancouver and later moved to Austin, Texas hoping to get into film there. Life had other plans though; I never did get into film, but I did meet my husband and business partner, Christopher.
I also found a doctor who could finally diagnose my health issues. After discovering what an important role food played in my health, I made a lot of changes, cutting out sugar, oil, and processed foods. Already a vegan, I made it my mission to cook healthy, yummy food for people as often as possible. I also went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach.
“Living in Shaker has been one of the best choices we could have made.”
Between the Austin heat and missing my friends and family, we decided to move back to Shaker Heights to be near my mom. While trying to get settled into a new house and start up a business as a health coach, a friend also encouraged me to try selling my granola. I wasn’t sure there would be a market for sugar- and oil-free granola, or that people would actually like it, but we decided to give it a try. Now, I coach as a side business and spend most of my time making and selling granola.
On Working and Living in Shaker Heights: Living in Shaker has been one of the best choices we could have made. The Lomond community is beautiful and everyone is so friendly and supportive. We love being able to walk down the street and bump into people we know and meet new people, especially in the summer when everyone is out and about.
We also really enjoy being walking distance from both the Chagrin-Lee area and the Van Aken District. It makes it so easy to do a quick run to Heinen’s, grab some bread at Lucy’s Sweet Surrender, or enjoy a cup of tea and get some work done at Brew at Juma.
Making granola at home and selling it at farmer’s markets can be challenging. There are long hours in the kitchen followed by driving all over Northeast Ohio. To relax, I love to go up to Horseshoe Lake to walk around, do some writing, or just lie in the grass. And getting to those markets is easy. We seem to be close to it all!