The Concord Monitor is launching its Environmental Reporting Lab, a long-term effort to better inform the community about the New Hampshire environment. To launch phase 1 of this effort, we need your help. The money raised will go toward hiring a full-time environmental reporter.

Please consider donating to this effort.


The Job Interview: Warner’s Courser Farm becomes granola headquarters

Last modified: 7/15/2013 5:34:37 PM
Courser Farm has been in Emma Bates’s family since her great-grandfather purchased the house and surrounding farmland in 1907.

Over the years, the farm has harvested maple syrup, hay and timber and grown a number of fruits and vegetables, such as corn and pumpkins.

But in the spring of 2011, the farm started turning out a new product: several unique gluten-free granola flavors, created by Bates in her own kitchen.

Two years later, Courser Farms Kitchen has grown in both popularity and size, making it too large for a residential workplace.

Bates now makes her award-winning granola at the Neighbor Made commercial kitchen in Keene and sells her products at several local stores and farmers markets.

Bates recently shared some of her inspirations for her product with the Monitor.

What prompted you to first start making granola?

I’ve made granola for a long time. I’ve always enjoyed baking. My cousin taught me how to make chocolate chip cookies when I was 6 years old and you know, it’s like ever since then I’ve been baking.

I played around and sort of came up with a recipe my family really liked and made that.

Did you intend from the beginning for your granola to be gluten free?

Yes, I started making it gluten free.

When I first started doing this, I was baking baked goods as well as making granola. My aunt and uncle had a little cafe in Warner and they wanted to be able to offer gluten-free baked goods and so that’s why I started doing gluten free.

I was gluten free for three years so I had a lot of experience with baking gluten free. Everything from the beginning has been gluten free and vegan.

What has the local reaction been to your products?

Fantastic. Overwhelmingly positive. It really makes me happy when people enjoy it.

Doing farmers markets, you start talking to people, like I met a woman who couldn’t have sulfates which is in a lot of dried fruits. So I started looking around and now I have I think three or four sulfate-free ones, and she has been just so excited she can eat it because she’s gluten free and there’s all sort of things she can’t have. You start to tailor it to people and then you find a lot of other people are excited because now they can eat it, too.

Where do you come up with the ideas for the flavors?

All over the place. Sometimes I see a fruit I want to use, and I say, “Well what can I do with that?” Sometimes somebody says, “Oh I wish you’d use (a certain flavor).”

The place I get extracts from, I’ll just look through and see what extracts they have that might be really fun to use for granola.

I have sort of a general recipe, and then I introduce different flavors and dried fruits and nuts to it.

What are some of your and your customers’ favorite flavors?

Oh it’s so hard to choose. It’s like trying to choose between my children.

I’d say probably the most popular are the almond cranberry and the maple nut, and those are really closely followed by the cashew chai and the mocha chip.

I try to do seasonal flavors, so when I introduce a new flavor that’ll usually take off for a little while everybody tries it. . . . I just retired the Pumpkin Gingerbread for the summer and introduced the Lavender Cranberry.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Concord Monitor, recently named the best paper of its size in New England.

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy