Before she was a chef, Laura Gail Briscoe worked in the tech industry for some of the biggest names in the business. But like a lot of people, she burned out from the nonstop grind. Laura left high tech to pursue her true passion, beginning with culinary school. Not long after graduating, Laura started an upscale private chef and fine dining business that grew into one of the Phoenix metropolitan area’s best and also led to her presenting regular cooking segments on local news and talk shows as Chef Laura.
While she was growing her private fine dining business, teaching cooking classes and cooking on camera, Laura was constantly experimenting with a granola recipe that could deliver the taste she’d loved since college but without all the fat, dairy and sugar. She modified the recipe again and again, experimenting with different sugars and fats, documenting each adjustment, with the sole objective of making a granola she would love.
All her hard work led to the birth of Vanilla Almond Crunch, the first of Laura’s Gourmet Granola’s EIGHT flavors. Initially, Laura gave her granola away or included it as a gift in a cooking class or dining event. But when she began to receive requests and offers of trade or compensation for it, her best friend strongly suggested she figure out how to bring Laura’s Gourmet Granola to market.
With nothing more than chutzpah, and a hundred bags of homemade granola, Laura set her sights on the leading specialty retail grocer in Arizona, AJs Fine Foods. She walked the aisles, spoke with store managers and left samples everywhere she went. Finally, on a rainy day in May 2004, Laura serendipitously met (some say cornered) the owner of this grocer who agreed to support her efforts to stock the stores’ shelves. True to his word, ten days later, Chef Laura received her first “green light” to offer Laura’s Gourmet Granola in their stores. Since then, Laura’s Gourmet Granola has grown into regional outlets for Whole Foods, Albertson’s, Safeway and Central Markets (Texas), Sendik’s (Wisconsin), Pete’s Fresh (Chicago) and many independent retailers across the country. As if that wasn’t enough, Laura’s Gourmet Granola has proven quite popular nationally as a foodservice option, gracing menus from Florida to Alaska for hotels, restaurants, corporate dining, professional and collegiate sports teams and healthcare.
So, that’s the story of Laura’s Gourmet Granola! Can’t find it on a store shelf near you? Contact us and we’ll do whatever we can to bring its golden goodness closer to you. After all, you deserve to know “which flavor are you?”!