1 of 3
Hand-painted scriptures cover the walls at Aidan's Place.
2 of 3
Paul and Bethany Hardison sold Aidan's Place to become full-time missionaries.
3 of 3
The Farmer's Market is one place where Bethany Hardison could be found selling homemade granola.
Paul and Bethany Hardison began 2014 with selling their business Aidan's Place, an artisan granola company located at 746 Edgemont St. The new owners are brother and sister Kelli Cole and Nathen Grubbs, and their respective spouses, Montgomery Cole and Courtney Grubbs.
Aidan's Place began from a search for a homemade, healthy snack for the couple's older child. They decided to share their initial product, today's "Deluxe" granola, at the neighborhood Cush's and Maxwell's markets. Additional varieties sprang up after a customer asked for that product without raisins. The small business gained more exposure at the Shreveport Farmer's Market and downtown festivals, under the slogan of Psalm 34:8, "Taste and know that the Lord is good," and sales continued to grow.
At first the Hardisons baked granola in their home oven, three 12-ounce packages at a time, before switching to a commercially inspected restaurant kitchen. The couple then bought the former French Tart restaurant. The number of outlets carrying their product grew, and the number of varieties grew to 10. They often worked more than 40-hour weeks, homeschooling their two boys and making products in the small building with Bible verses painted on the walls.
Then the Hardisons took a church mission trip to South America, and their lives switched to a new direction. "While we have felt love for the people of Guatemala for some time, after our trip in June 2013, we felt the Lord's confirmation that now is the time to go,” said Paul. “As Christians, we all serve the Lord by making His name known in dark places. We strive to be obedient to that command here in Shreveport and we are very excited to live out that command in the mountains of Guatemala, as well."
Paul and Bethany will be missionaries to the Mam people, modern day Mayans in northwest Guatemala. Over the next few months, the Hardisons are training for their new life, learning the Mam language, and preparing for an August departure.
-- By Lani Duke