A Trip to Oak Hill + the World's Best Granola

This post is was made possible thanks to the generosity of Oak Hill Bulk Foods, who supplied me with ingredients needed for the recipe below, as well as photos of our shopping experience.

It didn't take much, just a set of baby teeth and a small girl, one bound and determined to figure out the logistics of reversing what her mom had said was a final no.

When there is a will, there is a way.

My will was to have a bag of Gummi bears, and my way was to chomp a hole right through the packaging. Once the damage was done, I knew my mom would have to buy the bag she had said I couldn't get.

I can still remember the plastic-y taste of the polypropylene that stuck to my teeth but, unfortunately, the Gummi bears, though she was forced to buy them, never made it to my lips. I'm almost certain my siblings benefited from my ingenuous plan much better than I.

This is one of my very first memories of shopping at Oak Hill.

Years later, I am the mom wandering the aisles with her kids. (Silently praying they don't get any silly notions in their heads about ways to take Gummi bears home.)

We shop at Oak Hill almost weekly, often stopping by Oak Leaf Cafe & Bakery first, for a cookie with sprinkles (Carson's favorite), before picking up our groceries. 

Every Saturday morning throughout the winter, when Herm's business isn't as demanding, we go there as a family for breakfast too. Herm always get a raspberry filled donut and I always ask for just one bite. They only make and sell donuts on Saturday, and if you get there early, the donuts are still hot and so fresh tasting.You're going to want more than one bite, so please get your own. Don't be like me and try to share.

During the summer the kids and I regularly meet friends at Skipper's playground, which is right next to the store. While I get to catch up with friends and enjoy a good latte from the cafe (currently loving lavender flavored over ice) the kids run themselves weary playing with their friends. Nap time on those days can last for hours. And if you're a mom, you know the worth of a long nap time. Glory, hallelujah!

There are staples that I pick up at Oak Hill, and only Oak Hill, one being oatmeal. We eat a lot of oatmeal, I use it weekly when I make granola and protein bites, and on occasion for cookies too. (It's a very rare occasion I bake cookies, but none the less...) Oak Hill has the best price I have found, even beating Aldi, whom I've heard is impossible to beat. 

If you stop by, I'd also recommend you try their fresh ground peanut butter, amazing coffee, and delicious hard cheeses. The spice corner is vast, and equally amazing. 

I could go on and on... just know, if you've never been to Oak Hill you might as well visit. And if you have been there before, goodness, go again.


Like I said earlier, I make granola weekly. 

Before I married Herm I use to eat granola for breakfast (always), lunch (often), and supper (sometimes). Most of my friends laugh as my obsession, and just last week a friend I hasn't seen in ages came to visit. Her hostess gift: homemade granola bars. Yeah, she knows me well. 

As a new wife, I was eager to start making granola for the two of us, but Herm mentioned he wasn't really fond of it, so, disappointingly,  I thought I would be making it for just myself. Somehow though Herm learned to love it, eating at least one bowl daily, and I learned to limit it to maybe once a week. I feel better not having it daily. All things in moderation. I'm trying to learn that.

Even though I now limit it, my love for a fresh batch of crunchy, homemade granola is still strong.

There are several recipes I use, but this one is my all time favorite. I got the recipe from my mom, and honestly, I have never had a better granola. Bonus, it's tasty and healthy too!

I went a bit extravagant with the parfaits, Usually I make my own yogurt, this time, however, I picked up a container of maple flavored Brown Cow Yogurt. It's rich and flavorful and has a thick, decadent layer of cream on the top that nobody else gets to enjoy because I love it so.

To make the parfaits, simply layer granola, yogurt and your choice of fruits into a cup or bowl.

The Best Granola Ever

5 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. coconut
3/4 c. wheat germ
3/4 c. pecans
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. sesame seeds
1 t. maple flavoring

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. In a small bowl whisk syrup, butter, and maple flavoring. Pour it over dry ingredients, mixing well. Spread onto a cake sheet and bake at 325* for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. 

•Consider doubling or tripling the batch, then freeze the extra granola until you're ready for it.
•Try not to eat the entire batch of granola in one sitting. 
Feel free to send all large, unwanted clumps my way. Clumpy granola is the best snack ever.


Oak Hill Bulk Foods is located at 3173 Route 14A, just two miles south of Penn Yan, NY. The store is opened Monday - Saturday from 8 - 6 pm, and the cafe is open Monday - Saturday from 7 - 4 pm

You can follow Oak Hill on Facebook, or visit their website to learn more!


  1. Hi Sarah!
    I randomly found your blog about a year ago and enjoy reading your blog, especially about Carson! I have a toddler myself and totally understand!
    Our family was planning a trip to NY and the day before we went you posted about Oak Hill(we're from LA). I looked it up and it seemed close to where my brother lived so I called him and asked him if he knew where it was and if we can visit. He said he lived just a few minutes away and knew the place very well. He asked me how I knew about it.. well.. umm.. I read this blog and this girl just wrote about it. He wondered who this girl was so I said, um her name is Sarah Esh... my brother- no way,I know her! I know her whole family!
    My that knocked my socks off!
    Anyway we loved the store and cafe! We had lunch by the playground and my boy enjoyed running around! (I can see Carson playing in that creek!)
    The area is SOOO beautiful! Such a good change from Los Angeles!
    Thanks for writing about it just before we went! We loved it!
    Natalie (Eli's sister)

    1. Hi Natalie -

      Even though it took me over a month to respond, I have to tell you, this comment MADE my day! I am so glad you got to experience Oak Hill, it truly is one of my favorite places to take my friends who are from out of town.

      And yes, I know Eli! What a small world. Maybe someday I'll get to meet you too.

      All the best!