A portmantriple

Tucked inside Reid Forgrave’s story in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about the Boundary Waters area of northern Minnesota was an admirable brand name, an off-color portmantriple (boldfaced below):

[Becky] Rom and her husband climbed out of the canoe. Back in [the town of Ely], they pointed out thriving enterprises. One family company makes outerwear, which nicely complements the family’s other business, a lodge that runs winter dogsledding trips. An outfit called Crapola makes cranberry-apple granola. An art gallery displayed prints from a nature photographer…

If you live in or near Ely (a town of three or four thousand people), or if you’re a serious granola maven, you’re probably familiar with Crapola, but otherwise the product isn’t widely known.

The product, in its original form; in its (sigh) Number Two variety; and in an American patriot spinoff (all packages featuring the founders, Andrea and Brian Strom):

(#1) Note: “Makes even word people regular”

Brian Strom, on the company’s website:

By June of 2007, we were living the country life on our very own off-grid homestead in northern Minnesota. That’s when a silly conversation turned into inspiration for our granola business. One day I said something like “wouldn’t it be funny if we made cranberry apple granola and called it Crapola?”. I say lots of things like that, but for some reason this idea actually became a reality. Next thing I knew, a business was born.  Be careful what you say in front of your wife.  It could change your life forever.

On the model for the product name, from NOAD2:

noun crapola: North American vulgar slang nonsense; rubbish. ORIGIN from crap [‘feces’] and -ola, a suffix used humorously to extend standard words.

The title of Forgrave’s piece, a compact summary of the story:

In Northern Minnesota, Two Economies Square Off: Mining vs. Wilderness: Proposed mines near the Boundary Waters have become the latest front in the fight over who gets to profit from America’s natural resources

A photo from the NYT, suggesting the beauties of the lakes and islands:


The article also shows the open-strip mines in the area, but I’ll spare you that.

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