Before I was a chef, I worked in the tech industry for some of the biggest names in the business. Like a lot of people, I burned out from the nonstop grind, leaving tech to pursue my true passion for cooking, beginning with culinary school. Upon graduating Le Cordon Bleu in Arizona, I started an upscale private chef and fine dining business that grew into one of the Phoenix metropolitan area’s best and also led to regular cooking segments on local news and talk shows as Chef Laura.
While growing my private fine dining business, teaching cooking classes and cooking on camera, I found myself experimenting with a granola recipe that could deliver the taste I’d loved during college but without all the fat, dairy and sugar. I modified one particular recipe again and again, experimenting with different sugars and fats, documenting each adjustment, with the sole objective of making a granola I would love.
All this effort led to the birth of Vanilla Almond Crunch, the first of Laura’s Gourmet Granola’s EIGHT flavors. Initially, I gave my granola away or included it as a gift in a cooking class or dining event. But when I began to receive requests and offers of trade or compensation for it, my BFF strongly suggested I figure out how to bring Laura’s Gourmet Granola to market.
With nothing more than strong intention and moral support from friends and family, I set my sights on the leading specialty retail grocer in Arizona, AJs Fine Foods. I walked the aisles, spoke with store managers and left samples everywhere I went. Finally, on a rainy day in May 2004, I serendipitously met (some say cornered) the owner of this grocer who agreed to support my efforts to stock the stores’ shelves. True to his word, ten days later, I received my 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. In addition to retail, 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.
Whether in store or online, I invite you to discover this chef created, artisan baked classic granola. I love it, and so will you.