The Dish: The Providence Granola Project

We hate to stereotype, but it’s no secret that granola lovers also tend to support progressive causes. Enter Keith Cooper and Geoff Gordon, whose artisan granola business, The Providence Granola Project, helps newly arrived refugees gain footing in Rhode Island. "It came together like many ideas do, over beers and late night conversations about how to solve the world’s problems," says Gordon.
 
With help from a handful of immigrant workers (who are paid by the hour), Cooper and Gordon produce and bag the small-batch granola on Friday nights in the nonprofit Amos House’s kitchen. "It’s not just oats and sugar and raisins," says Gordon. "We pre-toast the dry ingredients, which gives a depth to the flavor." They combine organic grains with ingredients such as local honey, sucanat (a non-refined cane sugar) and whole nuts. Each month, their Granola of the Month Club offers subscribers two bags: Keith’s original recipe, plus that month’s flavor. Recent incarnations include Chocobanola, with chocolate and bananas, and blueberry and apricot studded April’s Got the Blues.
 
The six-month-old project already boasts one success story: Berita, a mother of nine and refugee from Burundi, used her Providence Granola Project experience and references to land a job at a hotel in Newport. The granola can be purchased at Blue State Coffee and online. It’s also available for delivery in some areas of Providence. Visit their website or email providencegranola@gmail.com for more info.

This article orignially ran in The Dish, our monthly food and dining e-newsletter. Sign up for it here.

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