There are many things that, as a pastry chef, I love to make (and eat, of course) and know I will never be able to sell. The first item that comes to mind is a cookie/bar my mother used to make: a sour cream dough is rolled out, spread with raspberry jam, folded over & baked. The finished ‘log’ is topped with an almond-flavored glaze and sprinkled with ground walnuts. It’s hard to make & messy, and while I haven’t had it in years (Marge proudly announces to anyone who will listen that she officially stopped baking when she moved around the corner from us), it’s one of those treats that is on my list of things I hope to soon have time to make for my family.
One thing that I make pretty frequently for my family & friends is granola. I personally cannot resist eating good granola, and since we have all of the necessary ingredients here at Bisousweet, I got in the habit of whipping together a batch every now & then. In a place filled with sugar & butter, it was a relief to have something a tad more healthy available to nibble on instead of existing solely on cookies and doughnut muffins. I have a system that I diligently follow: make granola, pick out all ridiculously large chunks for myself, share remainder. What’s awful is that I feel guilty only as I type this, but never when I’m picking out the chunks. It’s almost as if some rabid animal takes over who must hunt & gather all large chunks before anyone else can have access to the goods. Primal, yet pathetic and shameful. I need to work on this…tomorrow.
Granola has always lived on the periphery of life at the bakery. I only make it at the end of the day, usually when everyone else is cleaning up, getting ready to leave. It’s doesn’t require any mixers or equipment other than a big bowl, a scale, my hands and the oven. I always make a batch or two around the holidays for my friend Susan who is the namesake for our Pecan Susans, and Susan and I even used bags of granola for party favors for Rosh Hashana this past year. Each time I make it, I try something new. Cherries instead of cranberries. Dried blueberries the next time. Coconut. No coconut. Pecan pieces. Pecan halves. Pumpkin seeds, no pumpkin seeds. Always maple syrup. It’s really a question of what I have lying around, and what I’m craving.
When it came time to send out our holiday cards this past December and thank our buyers, I didn’t think twice about what to send as a small token gift: Granola. It may seem like a random gift, but for me, granola represents happiness & health, and it felt like something ‘special’ I could share as my way of saying thank you.
What happened next, however, took me by surprise: People wanted to buy it to sell in their stores.
The first time someone asked me if I would consider selling granola, I laughed and told them I was flattered. The second request made me laugh again, and get hungry for granola. The requests kept coming in, and I finally decided to go for it.
Selling it instead of just giving it away meant I needed to settle on a set recipe. I opted to keep it simple: Unblanced almonds, pecans, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, oats, organic coconut, wheat germ, olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
And so, I would like to announce the most unexpected announcement of the year (to date): Biousweet is now selling granola. We shipped out our first batch to Winston Flowers a couple of weeks ago, and this week, we delivered some to Pemberton Farms. I will keep you posted as it is picked up by other stores.
It may be a passing fling, or it could be something that sticks…we’ll see. In the meantime, I can’t help but think how funny this world is. I never expected a thank you gift to turn into a new product offered by Bisousweet, and yet, look what just happened.