Pre-packaged zen


Kristi R. Garabrandt

24 Zen Granola

Patrick Williams

A new treat can now be found at Eastway, Rosie’s and Munchies Markets. Twenty-4 Zen granola comes in little brown bags with colorful labels and phrases like “balance your solar plexus chakra” and “balance your third eye chakra.”

Twenty-4 Zen Granola is a growing company based out of Avon, Ohio. It began sales at Kent State in October and just hired a Kent State student as social media manager and brand ambassador.

The product came about when, two-and-a-half years ago, aromatherapist and founder Raizel Michelow’s interests in essential oils and food merged.

“I wanted a product that could offer the colors of essences yet offer a healthy, portable snack alternative,” Michelow said.

Michelow’s son was on a gluten-free diet at the time. It was then that she took note of how many people are intolerant of gluten, wheat or have celiac disease and how there weren’t many flavorful gluten-free products readily available to them.

“There was really a lack of anything that developed taste, a real taste, a complex taste,” she said.

Twenty-4 Zen Granola is not only gluten-free, but soy-free, vegan and made with non-GMO ingredients. As for flavors, there are seven, and each has an intended mix of savory and sweet.

The first two flavors created were hot chili mango and lemon ginger. Then more came, including salty caramel chocolate chunk and lime curry cashew coconut.

Junior marketing major Matt Gilkerson is the company’s social media manager and brand ambassador at Kent State.

“Really what we’re trying to focus on most is spreading awareness through social media, because obviously that’s a huge thing right now.”

One of Gilkerson’s tasks as social media manager might soon involve putting together a Facebook contest.

“I think it’s going to be something like a ‘zen selfie’ where you take a picture of yourself and post it to our wall,” he said.

As brand ambassador, Gilkerson will hand out samples to students.

Michelow said Twenty-4 Zen customers have given positive feedback about the product, and sales have increased six times since its inception.

“We need to make our name now,” she said.

The little brown bags can become part of your New Year’s resolution diet and goal to eat healthy, or just serve as a quick, savory snack.

Contact Patrick Williams at [email protected].