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Saturday, September 22 Business

Granola Bar to open sixth location in Fairfield

Westport residents Julie Mountain and Dana Noorily have come a long way since they opened their first Granola Bar. With five locations split between southwestern Connecticut and New York, they have their eyes set on opening another one, this time in Fairfield.

Mountain and Noorily’s company the Granola Bar Restaurant Group will be opening its sixth location next month at 1876 Black Rock Turnpike. The opening is just months after the pair launched two New York locations.

“We’re very excited about Fairfield and (location) number six.” Mountain said. “We wanted to be up on the northern part of Fairfield. We felt like that area was greatly underserved. The space really spoke to us.”

Mountain and Noorily will be setting up shop in what was once Miro Kitchen. The Asian fusion restaurant closed last spring a year after opening.

The duo started their business in 2013 as a hobby, but it has since developed it into brand known for its array of granola-themed cafes throughout the region.

The Fairfield cafe will be joining the business’ locations in Westport, Stamford and Greenwich, as well as in Armonk and Rye, N.Y.

“Those just kind of came together naturally, and then additionally this past fall we learned of the Miro Kitchen space in Fairfield, and it was an opportunistic situation that we felt we needed to do,” Noorily said.

While it has been five years since the first Granola Bar opened, the brand hasn’t undergone many changes from its original concept, Noorily added.

Customers can take their pick from variety of freshly made granola, smoothies and coffee, while also choosing heartier items like breakfast burritos or the avocado grilled cheese made from locally sourced ingredients.

“You can come into Granola Bar and eat vegan and vegetarian or you can eat a grilled cheese with extra bacon,” Mountain said. “It’s a place of no judgment, and it’s a place (where you) can eat the way you want to eat.”

As the brand has continued to grow in popularity, Noorily said she and Mountain regularly receive requests from customers in neighboring towns for a new store. A Fairfield location was among the requests, the duo said.

Mark Barnhart, the town’s economic development director, said his office received several calls from residents regarding the business.

“There was a rumor that they were looking for locations in this part of the county and Fairfield in particular,” Barnhart said. “We got a lot of calls from folks who were very excited about that possibility, so obviously, the news travels fast.”

Mountain and Noorily said this will not be the end of their expansion both in Connecticut and beyond.

jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @JordanEGrice

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