Raised by a family of cooks and bakers, Mary Moyer graduated from Wake Tech in culinary arts in 2013 and created Double M Bakeshop. Moyer uses organic and local ingredients in the granola and nut butters she produces to keep the recipes as pure as possible. Double M Bakeshop products can be found in various locations around the Triangle, including Cocoa Cinnamon and Beer Durham, as well as online. Mary spoke to Neecole Bostick about her bakeshop.
Neecole Bostick: How did you originally come up with the idea of baking granola?
Mary Moyer: I went to culinary school in 2010 when I was 52 years old because I’ve always been a cook, but was never trained. When I graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wasn’t going to work in a restaurant, that wasn’t a plan. I saw just Bobby Flay making granola on TV one day, and I’ve never made granola before but it looked really good. I started with the recipe that I saw of his on TV, but it was full of sugar and really not very healthy. So I spent a year and a half developing my own recipe called “Mary’s Original.” I started out with my first recipe, gave it to my friends, and one said, “You got to sell this stuff.”
NB: What’s your process of making granola? Where do you get your ingredients?
MM: I take my oats, nuts, coconut, and other dry ingredients, then I add a wet component. I mix it up, bake and cool it, so that whatever sweeteners I put in crisp up. I try to stay local as much as possible for my ingredients. I use North Carolina sweet potatoes and peanuts. Oats don’t grow in North Carolina, but I do get organic oats. Almonds don’t grow in North Carolina, but I get them from a family-run farm. I use organic as much as I economically can because I don’t want my stuff to be too overpriced. I try to do everything as pure as possible. I have no preservatives in anything, so I make stuff to order.
NB: What about your nut butters?
MM: I have nut butters in all my granola except one. I was wondering where I should get my nut butters, I could get it at Trader Joe’s because I would eat the Trader Joe’s peanut butter all the time. Then they had a recall, and I thought how I wouldn’t want to have to recall my nut butters, so I decided to grind my own. With a lot of research and work, I would make my own nut butters. It’s just pure nuts that are ground. Sometimes I add coconut oil or sea salt or honey to add to the flavor. But the ones that go into the granola are pure ground nuts.
NB: How have you been inspired by the other great cooks of your family?
MM: They’re the reason why I went to culinary school. They were all self- taught. My grandmother made all the wedding cakes for her kids. My father is one of 10 kids and she has 51 grandkids, but I got her name. Once I was finished with culinary school, everything else happened organically.
NB: What kind of joy does your business and its products bring you?
MM: We were living in Cary, and I thought I was just going to start small, work at farmers markets and out of the house. But, at the time, I had a dog, and you can’t have any pets in a home- based certified kitchen, so I had to find a place to cook. After searching for months, I came to The Cookery in Durham where I would get up at 5 a.m. from Cary to drive to Durham. I met so many people here after a few months I said to my husband, “We’ve got to move to Durham.” It only took about a year and a half before we moved. The food community here is awesome, everyone is very supportive. There’s a green store on Ninth Street called Vintage Home South, I walked in one day and literally within five minutes of talking to the owner, we agreed I was going to come over to her store and give out samples of my granola. It’s just worth of mouth, talking to people, and everyone being supportive. And everyone wants local now, especially in North Carolina, it’s become such a big foodie state.
NB: How did you come up with the name?
MM: I am Double M, those are my initials. I was named after my grandmother, my mother has those initials, and, it’s kinda funny, my mother in law also has those initials. She is also a fantastic cook just like my mom and my grandmother. It’s all about the family.