Local Producer Spotlight: Seven Sundays
From New Zealand With Love
During their honeymoon in New Zealand, Brady and Hannah Barnstable fell in love with muesli. The newlyweds were camping and hiking across New Zealand to celebrate their marriage and ended up discovering something that would change their lives forever.
They ate muesli every morning because it offered their active bodies quick and easy nourishment. The cold breakfast cereal is a combination of oats, grains, dried fruits and nuts that are soaked in milk (or other liquid) overnight. Pronounced ‘mew-slee‘, the breakfast blend was first created in Switzerland in the early 20th century and quickly spread across Europe and to the European colonies.
A Craving-Fix That Couldn’t Be Purchased
After returning to New York after their honeymoon, they were unsuccessful in finding the same muesli they began their mornings with in New Zealand. Nothing they found in stores was quite right. Hannah decided to replicate the recipe in their tiny apartment kitchen and the results were too good to keep to themselves. Not long after, they sold their first bag of muesli at a Minneapolis farmer’s market in 2011.
Flash forward nearly ten years and the muesli that Hannah created is now created and sold as a Certified B Corporation. You can find Seven Sundays muesli sold across the country in major grocery stores, hypermarket stores, organic food stores and co-ops. Though with expansion into a larger market, the Barnstables sought out a way to ensure consumers who had never purchased their product from a farmers market knew the values of their brand right away.
The Certified Road to B Corp Status
Becoming a certified B Corporation sets a structure to help for-profit organizations balance social and environmental responsibility. Though Seven Sundays’ operations were already compliant with B Corporation standards, they did spend months submitting all of the legal and policy paperwork because the certification includes every aspect of the business.
Seven Sundays became the first Minnesota food maker to become a certified B Corporation. Minnesota-based beverage companies Peace Coffee and Superior Switchel are also certified B corporations.
On top of social and environmental responsibility, B corporations must have a higher purpose and mission that runs through the veins of the organization. What’s Seven Sundays’ higher purpose?
According to a 2019 report by the Star Tribune, Seven Sundays’ B corp report card greater mission reads: ” Seven Sundays’ mission is to maximize nutritional value (read: no added sugar) while minimizing the environmental effect of the foods it makes. For them, that comes down to sourcing plant-based, non-GMO, gluten-free and nutrient-dense ingredients near their St. Peter, Minn., and Connecticut production facilities. As a secondary purpose, the company aims to support family farms in the Midwest by creating demand for small grains grown in the region.”
And the name?
How do you name a brand dong so much for its consumers and the planet? And why choose a name like “Seven Sundays”?
The Minneapolis-based muesli brand is a privately-owned and family-run organization where rest is as important as work. They explain on their website:
“In our family, Sundays are the days we live most simply and deliberately, which, according to Thoreau, is“to front only the essential facts of life.” This means taking time for ourselves, ditching our phones, and starting more intentionally in order to gain the right perspective for the day and week ahead. We realize Sundays can be a little different for everyone, but for us, this day of the week is special and embodies our passion, our brand and our chosen lifestyle. Our goal is to apply that simple Sunday frame of mind to EVERY DAY.”