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“Dive Deep In A Bowla Granola”

granola That’s the slogan for Providence Granola, which we sampled, then bought, at Sunday’s final Davis Park Farmer’s Market. This is some serious granola, made with all-natural, mainly organic ingredients, including native Rhode Island honey. I was hooked on the taste alone.

But it’s much more than yummy. Keith Cooper and Geoff Gordon started The Providence Granola Project a couple of years ago as a unique way to help newly-arrived refugees build their lives in Providence. These refugees, from Burundi, Somalia, Iraq, Nepal, and other countries, learn to help make the granola from scratch at Amos House, which prepares them for other types of jobs in Rhode Island. The Granola Project’s website recently reported:

The three Burmese men who worked for us this spring are now all employed full time. Even Christopher Dusengimana, a high school student who worked for us this summer, found a steady part-time job. And just this month Fatu Kollie, a young woman from Liberia started a steady job at a sport’s club. Our latest hire, Habtom Beyene (from Eritrea) started last week. When I paid him with his (first ever!) paycheck he had no idea what it was. Now he knows.

If the feel-good part doesn’t get you, though, the taste-good should. The “originola” is already packed with a variety of seeds, nuts, and fruit, but those with sophisticated palates will love the random flavors Providence Granola has rolled out, including Pina Colada, Chocobanola, Holly Jolly Ginger, Pistachio Cardamom Rose, Maple Rosemary, Mochaccino, Chaat Masala, Salted Mango, I Heart Cherry Chocolate, and “Wake Up Saigon” (Saigon cinnamon and dark chocolate-covered espresso beans). Providence Granola Project’s “Granola of the Month Club” ships a pound of Originola plus a pound of whatever crazy flavor Keith concocts each month.

Snackers can find Providence Granola at the wintertime farmer’s market at Hope Artiste Village (which kicks off Saturday, Novemvber 6th at 10am); Liberty Elm; Campus Market in Faunce House at Brown; Shore’s Market; and Café le France in the train station.

Who knew helping refugees could taste this good?