Photo by Erica Baker

Photo by Erica Baker

The Providence Granola began after a late night, a few beers, and a couple of good friends asking a question: What might help newly-arrived refugees start rebuilding their lives in Providence? Our answer: artisan granola, of course! Let’s face it, granola is the perfect food—wholesome, natural, mysterious, deep. And when it tastes this good, why shouldn’t it help a few people along the way?
— From our first marketing postcard
20,000 Leagues under the sea

About Our Granola

Our granola company launched in 2008 with a purple marketing postcard, a wood cut we borrowed from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and some tin tie windowed coffee bags.  Since then we’ve crafted over 30 new recipes, employed 31 refugees, become a not-for-profit, become our state’s premier granola maker, and supplied our fans in RI and others across the US with several tons of the very best hand-made granola. Below is a brief introduction to the vocabulary of our company.

Amos House: We make our granola in the commercial kitchen of a local social service agency and soup kitchen called Amos House. Without their support, encouragement, and vision to support an experimental social venture, we would not exist. The main way we say thanks is to fill the air of South Providence with the lovely smell of granola baking. If you’re in the neighborhood on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons, we hope you catch a whiff. (Return to Top)
Beauty: We think refugee resettlement is beautiful—especially when it’s done well and provides a path to economic self-sufficiency. We named ourselves Beautiful Day because we believe in empowering people whose lives have been shattered to move forward one day at a time. Naturally, we want our granola to be as beautiful as we can make it. (Return to Top)
Brussels Sprouts: Granola is not Brussels sprouts. While it’s an exceptionally healthy alternative to potato chips or tiramisu, it shouldn’t replace Brussels sprouts. Or tiramisu either. We do not recommend a granola-only diet. Still, most people would do their bodies an awful lot of good by simply exchanging their hyper-processed boxed cereal for some high quality and high calorie granola. (Return to Top)
Chunks: Yes, we know the chunks are massive. It actually takes some real expertise to make them so big. Think of it this way: a granola chunk is like Humpty Dumpty. Easy enough to break it in a fall—but, once broken, who can ever put it back together again? And if you really don’t want chunks, you should check out our breakfast muesli. (Return to Top)
Customers: Our customers are our most important partners. If you buy or gift (or, as a retail outlet, stock or serve) our granola, you are a partner in a mission. Together we are creating jobs for people who would be unable to enter the job market on their own. Together we’re providing essential training and confidence. Together we’re learning and interacting with hidden, vulnerable populations. And together we’re building meaningful connections that allow refugees to integrate and become part of our community. (Return to Top)
Flavors: People are always asking how we come up with our different flavor combinations. For us it’s a huge part of the fun and a big part of why we started a granola-of-the-month club. But it takes some effort. When we first started, we tried and adjusted each recipe 4-5 times before putting it in production. As most cooks know, the transition from prototype to bulk recipe is not always smooth. At this point we’ve developed a regular monthly rotation of granolas, but we’re just getting started with bars. Be sure to check out our latest limited editions. (Return to Top)
Gluten: Our bagged granola is NOT gluten free. Only our regular Beautiful Bars are non-GMO, and gluten free. While we take precautions to clean all our equipment and protect our raw ingreidents, because the kitchen we use is NOT gluten-free, the bars may not be suitable for consumers with severe gluten intolerances or allergies. (Return to Top)
Granola of the-Month: The best way to make sure you experience every one of our unique flavors within a couple days of production is to subscribe to our granola of the month club. (Return to Top)
Ingredients: Our signature granola has 3 grains, 3 seeds, 4 nuts, and 2 fruits, bound together by a mixture of honey, minimally processed cane juice, canola oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. We use primarily organic grains, seeds, and oil and conventionally grown nuts and fruit. As much as possible we use keep each ingredient in its whole, natural form. Our gluten-free Beautiful Bars use similar ingredients in slightly different quantities while substituting all the grains for gluten-free oats. (Return to Top)
Keeping it Real: All our products, including our bars, are hand made in small batches and hand-packed by real people. For the bars we simply use grid shaped molds on a sheet pan and pack it down tight with a rolling pin. We use real, whole, minimally processed ingredients and no preservatives. Granola is very sensitive to humidity in the kitchen and minor fluctuations in oven temperature can alter the texture. While we think this should be part of their charm, variations can surprise customers used to factory-made, machine-wrapped products. If you or a customer is ever unhappy with a bar or batch just let us know and we will exchange it for you. Over time, moisture in the fruit migrates to the grains making the granola chewier. (Return to Top)
Muesli: is simply a lighter, finer, less sweet, more spoon-appropriate, and distinctly Swiss version of our granola. We make it by mixing toasted oats with prepared fine-grade Original or ginger flavored granola at a 4 x 1 ratio. (Return to Top)
Nutrition Labels: One downside of nutrition labels is the way they insinuate that it’s healthy to obsess over calories. This seems similar to obsessing over how much gas you put in your car. Putting in just a half gallon might feel great—until you need to go somewhere. Then you need another half gallon, then another, and another, which would keep you running to the gas station and obsessing about gasoline. The 100 calorie fad seems grounded in this kind of craziness. (Return to Top)
Prices: Recently we made a very difficult decision to raise our prices. The sad truth is that all food prices are on the rise. In fact, in the last year alone, every single one of our ingredients has gone up—and some by $2 per pound. In the end we’ve decided that the only way to stay true to our product and mission is to share some of that increase with our partner/customers. (Return to Top)
Process: The big mistake most granola makers make is poor preparation. Each one of our ingredients gets a different number of minutes in a low temperature oven before we even get started. It takes extra time and attention but it removes moisture and intensifies each flavor to make it bright and distinct. That’s why some people can close their eyes and eat a chunk of our granola and know what’s in it. (Return to Top)
Satisfaction: The idea behind granola is to start your day or, in the case of a bar, fortify your afternoon with a healthy combination of nuts, seeds, whole grains, honey, and fruit. It should have protein and fiber. It should be both delicious and energizing. And it should last you several hours. The professional word for this is satiety. Not all calories are made equal. And if, by 10 o’clock in the morning, you’re daydreaming about a Boston Cream Pie donut, then you probably didn’t eat enough granola for breakfast. (Return to Top)
Squares: Our Beautiful Bars claim to be a little (and on a BIG mission). In fact, if you start paying attention to the weight of other bars, they’re not even so little. Because they aren’t cranked out and wrapped by machine, we don’t have the luxury of forming them into long thin rectangles that give the appearance of greater quantity. Now that we’ve tried it, we’re glad to be square. (Return to Top)
Social Venture: We are a part of a growing movement that believes that a business can be about way more than making money. We have several bottom lines: making the best granola, empowering our mission, building a sustainable business, and nourishing our community. By aligning refugees' needs with the growing demand for healthy, locally-made products, we believe we can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our mission. (Return to Top)
Sourcing: We rely primarily on New England companies as our suppliers. The organic grains and seeds are certified with country of origin, date, and lot numbers. As best we know how, we’ve researched the sourcing and handling of each ingredient in our gluten-free and non-GMO bars. (Return to Top)
Shelf life: Currently, we only put a “best by” date on granola going to grocery stores. A lot of granolas claim to stay fresh for a year. We recommend consuming within 3-4 months. If possible, we recommend storing in the fridge or freezer. All our products can be frozen and thawed multiple times without altering taste or quality. A bar kept in the fridge will taste and chew better if you slip it into a pocket to warm it up. (Return to Top)
Truth: The truth isn’t always beautiful. With 16 million refugees and 45 million displaced people in the world, the truth can be very difficult to swallow. At worst that kind of truth leads to paralysis. (Return to Top)
PGP postcard
Breakfast Muesli Label.jpg
HOLLY-JOLLY-LABEL.jpg
pear-label.jpg
Maple Rosemary.jpg
Bananas-Foster.jpg
Cherry-Chocolate.jpg
Caramel-Apple.jpg
Bourbon-Pecan.jpg