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17 Years Worth Celebrating - Sobriety Anniversary Reflections

Michelle Pusateri, Reflections on 17 years Sober, Entrepreneur, Nana Joes Granola

An Interview with Michelle Pusateri, Nana Joes Granola Founder & CEO: 
Michelle reflects on her 17th year of sobriety and how this pivotal choice has impacted her personal life and where she is today as a successful entrepreneur.

Why is the month of April significant for you and Nana Joes Granola?

Michelle: The month of April holds immense significance for me, as it marks the 17th anniversary of my decision to get sober on April 20, 2007. Choosing sobriety was undoubtedly the best decision I've ever made and it paved the way for so many fulfilling ventures, like Nana Joes Granola. Reflecting on this milestone, I'm grateful for the journey that led me here, and for you all in your support along the way. 

I'm also really thrilled to witness the burgeoning sobriety movement within the food and service industry. It's heartening to see a growing community embracing sobriety and fostering supportive environments for everyone. I'm fully committed to being a part of the service industry's sobriety movement and contributing to its momentum.

What does sobriety mean to you? Why is this anniversary so important? How does NJG fit into the path of sobriety?

Michelle: Sobriety is the hope for a better future for myself. I found myself utterly lost and trapped in a cyclical life of work, party, work, party. I lacked direction, personal responsibility and couldn't envision a future, let alone reaching my fifties. It was a pivotal moment when I realized I needed to lift myself up and chart a new course for my life. Looking back, I believe this decision saved me. Speaking from experience, our struggles can consume us deeply and, at that time, alcohol and drugs only magnified my anguish. Reaching out for help, embracing sobriety allowed me to reclaim control and begin healing from within.

What is new and upcoming from the Nana Joes Granola kitchen that fans should know about?

Michelle: We've been collaborating with Alison from Alison’s Organics x Riverview Orchard Nut Butters for a few months now and her almond butter has truly taken Nana Joes Granola to the next level. Can you tell?! The freshness of the almond butter and the meticulous care crafted into each blend have enhanced the flavor profile of the Nana Joes Granola you know and love significantly (making it even better, if you can believe it!). We're delighted to have found a partner in Alison's Organics who shares our own dedication to quality and artisinality. Building strong partnerships with suppliers like Alison is crucial in creating exceptional products where we can both thrive, and we're grateful for the delicious results it brings to you, our customers! Taste Riverview Orchard Nut Butters in NJG Paleo Sunrise Orange blend.

Alison Organics, Riverview Orchard Nut Butters, and Michelle Pusateri, Nana Joes Granola


What are you listening to right now?

Chel: I'm currently engrossed in Adam Grant's audiobook, "Hidden Potential," and it's absolutely captivating. It draws parallels to Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers," delving into the notion that talent and success aren't solely innate but are deeply influenced by factors such as upbringing, birth year and the power of self-accountability and practice. Both books are so intriguing!

What is something fun you did recently? Any plans for this summer?

Michelle: Surfing, the answer is always surfing! I went on an epic surf trip with friends to Mexico a few months back and seriously had the best time. This year I hope I can surf more new regions in early Fall. Living near the Pacific Ocean has its perks, I live for the long summer days when I can jump in the ocean after work. 

Surfing and the Sunset in Mexico with Michelle Pusateri, Nana Joes Granola

Tell us about something that made you laugh recently.

Michelle: My friend Rachel (fellow small biz-owner at Fat and The Moon) and I recently shared a room at Expo West in Anaheim in March and we laughed so hard at everything! Same with my sister Angi, who came to visit me for a night in San Francisco. We spent the entire evening laughing and chatting and laughing some more. These moments are so dear to me and I cherish them the most. Laughing and truly enjoying the company of those we love.

Michelle Pusateri, Nana Joes Granola, Fat of the Moon, Honey Mama's


Okay, last question. What is something fans might be surprised to learn about you?

Michelle: At my core, I harbor a deep-seated fear of the water. It might sound paradoxical, considering my affinity for surfing, swimming, and immersing myself in the ocean and any body of water. Yet, each time I venture out to surf, I find myself grappling with internal resistance and extreme anxiety. Despite this ongoing battle with fear, I persist because it is something I truly love. Confronting my fears head-on has become a regular practice for me. It's through this consistent confrontation that I've learned to navigate and manage the things that once seemed insurmountable. You really need this for being an entrepreneur because on the daily I am scared (this made me laugh).

Michelle Pusateri, surfing, vegan, gluten free, celiac, Female Founder & CEO