By Lauren Fountain
Laura Briscoe can remember, years ago, flipping through a magazine and coming across a recipe for granola. As a self-proclaimed “granola lover,” Briscoe was reminded of how much she enjoyed snacking on granola throughout college. Ready to make the magazine’s recipe, she was shocked to see the amount of fat and sugar it called for.
Inspired by the magazine’s granola recipe, Briscoe started testing granola recipes to get the nutritional value up to par with what she herself would eat. Her friends were her samplers, and Briscoe’s granola quickly became a highly requested item. It was Briscoe’s best friend who first suggested that she sell the granola, not just make it for her friends and family.
This suggestion set the stage for Laura’s Gourmet Granola, a chef-created and artisan-crafted granola company based in Tempe, Arizona.
So, how did a New Jersey transplant go from a career in the tech industry to launching a granola company? For Briscoe, it was a path that “picked her.”
Upon graduating Le Cordon Bleu in Arizona, Briscoe started an upscale private chef and fine dining business that shortly became one of the best in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Chef Laura’s business grew and led to regular cooking segments on local news and talk shows.
Once Briscoe was reminded of her love for granola, she experimented with a granola recipe in hopes of delivering the taste she loved but without all the fat, dairy and sugar that was found in most granolas on the market. The end result was her famous Vanilla Almond Crunch granola, her first signature flavor that is still on the market today.
In May 2004, Briscoe met the owner of AJ’s Fine Foods and convinced him to stock Laura’s Gourmet Granola, helping her introduce the company to the retail industry. Nearly two decades later, Laura’s Gourmet Granola can be found in 20 states from coast to coast.
Briscoe’s goal for Laura’s Gourmet Granola is to create a chef-driven product that focuses on texture, flavor and mouthfeel, something she believes other products lack.
Sourcing for Quality
Whether her customers are everyday shoppers looking for a snack or chefs looking to incorporate granola into their own recipes, she sources the most quality ingredients to meet the quality standards of her product. For Briscoe, this means importing agave from Mexico and sourcing apples directly from farms in the Pacific Northwest. The true mark of quality for Briscoe is using recognizable ingredients that anyone could find themselves.
Originally from Morristown, New Jersey, Briscoe has found a home in the Tempe, Arizona community. Briscoe sits on the Board of Directors for the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, a connection that recently led to a partnership with another local company, Brick Road Coffee, to support the World Central Kitchen’s efforts in Ukraine. Her community-centric mindset stems from her belief that, without her customers and the local community, Laura’s Gourmet Granola would not be what it is today.
Briscoe also credits her team for making the company’s success possible. She believes that by handcrafting the product, there is heart and passion in every bag of granola. It may be her name on the label, but it would not be possible without every Laura’s Gourmet Granola team member putting in the effort every day.
To shop Laura’s Gourmet Granola online or find a retailer near you, visit laurasgourmet.com.