In a cottage kitchen in mid-coast Maine, Kate deLutio has made it her mission to turn the granola bar into a showcase of Maine's signature foods.

Her business, Maineland Granola Co., makes bars in flavors like Blueberry-Lemon-Basil, Cranberry-Orange-Ginger and Maple-Mango-Fennel.

“These bars put the flavors of Maine's fields and forests right into your hand,” deLutio said.

Her love of granola bars began as a quest to make hearty snacks for her husband, she said.

“He's an airline pilot so he values portable food," deLutio said. "I wanted to make something for him that wasn't too unhealthful.”

Her search led to granola bars — she said the heartiness of nuts and seeds and the sweetness of fruit and honey are a great combination.

"Their only shortcoming is they usually come in the same three flavors you've eaten since kindergarten,” deLutio said.

So she started playing with ingredients.

“I took inspiration from all of the great food stuff happening in Maine right now. A lot of granola bars are dry and crumbly. I found a technique that makes them moist and chewy … I realized I had something special when I started giving them to friends: Everyone asked for the recipe.”

In her search for Maine ingredients, deLutio was surprised at how many are available in the state. She found rolled oats from Aroostook County sold by Maine Grains in Skowhegan, dried berries from Washington County, and honey, maple syrup, and herbs from the Midcoast. Even the salt is harvested from the Gulf of Maine by Maine Sea Salt Co.

“I'd love to use all local ingredients but some just aren't available," she said. "It's hard to find good dried mangoes from Maine.”

The best-selling flavor so far is Maine Mocha — a granola bar with dark chocolate, coffee, and a splash of natural brandy flavoring, deLutio said. Maineland Granola Co. granola bars are available at the Belfast Co-op, Bay Wrap, and the Sail Locker, a new gift shop in Belfast.

For a full list of Maine suppliers and granola bar flavors, go online to