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Sheldon mom turns her life into business

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Sheldon mom turns her life into business
Rachel Granstra

Rachel Granstra of rural Sheldon has turned her life raising 1-year-old twins Georgia and Lillian and being a farm wife into a business via her Little House on the Feedlot blog.

SHELDON—Rachel Granstra of rural Sheldon has turned her foray into motherhood and being a farm wife into a burgeoning business.

The 25-year-old operates Little House on the Feedlot, a digital platform where she shares recipes, household tips and blogs about her family and faith.

The namesake website — a play on “Little House on the Prairie” that also acknowledges the location of her home — as well as her Instagram and Facebook posts have attracted a nationwide following.

The Little House on the Feedlot social media accounts have about 7,500 followers and Granstra sends out weekly newsletters from the website.

Granstra makes it clear being a full-time stay-at-home mom is her first priority, but she loves the business sector and wanted to find a way to involve herself in it from home.

“I wanted to do some kind of business thing — kind of like a ministry — while I could stay at home full time with these two,” Granstra said referring to her twin daughters, Lillian and Georgia, who turn 2 in October.

Granstra started Little House on the Feedlot about a year ago.

“It’s very faith-based, so it’s just a ministry for not just stay-at-home moms but just moms,” she said. “Raising our family is our focus and all the other stuff that comes along with being a busy mom.”

Granstra has been able to expand the business since launching it.

She has an employee based out of Minneapolis, who helps her with administrative tasks and she launched a meal planning service called Mama’s Meal Plan in conjunction with Hy-Vee. Her customers receive a discount code to the store.

“I just opened the test group for it in April,” Granstra said.

She officially opened up Mama’s Meal Plan to the general public in September and spots filled up quickly. However, people who sign up for the waiting list can get a free trial before membership opens again at the end of the month.

With her plans, Granstra schedules meals for the week, shares recipes and provides clients a shopping list.

“I personally love to bake so I do a lot of baking recipes on my blog, but my home meal plan is like home cooking,” she said.

Granstra noted her meals are not done in conjunction with a dietitian nor do they have a focus on nutritional value, something a lot of people have asked her about.

“It’s just good home cooking,” she said. “That’s what I grew up on. My family farmed too and we just like home cooking, so that’s my meal plan is; it has recipes like that. Like meat and potatoes, casseroles — that kind of stuff — that’s what my meal plan is.”

While her recipes are about providing hearty meals, Granstra is working with a dietitian to eventually roll out some leaner options for her more health-conscious clients as well as recipes tailored to the keto diet.

“We’ve got an app that will come out at the end of this year that will hold all of our meal plans,” Granstra said. “You will be able to add your own recipes to it and edit the meal plan on the calendar and it’ll populate the grocery list for you and you can take it right to the store and buy your groceries from the app.”

The partnership with Hy-Vee came about after Granstra reached out to the Sheldon store. She thinks the pairing is a natural fit.

“Most of my following is busy young moms, so Hy-Vee is the perfect grocery store for them because you can order online and have it delivered or do pickup,” Granstra said.

“It was the perfect grocery store to work with me on that because not only do we want our meals planned out for the convenience of saving time, but we also want to save money. By getting a code to save money through Hy-Vee, I think that’s another huge benefit.”

Home-cooked meals always have been important to Granstra, who grew up in Kingsley. Her mother, Carol Bird, also was a stay-at-home mom and a master of the kitchen. Granstra wanted to provide her children that same opportunity.

“When I started this, my goal was that I would always be a full-time mom and run my business, but I’ll hire somebody to do the work instead of hiring somebody to watch my kids,” Granstra said.

“I grew up with my mom at home and it was such a blessing.”