The Hippo


May 28, 2020








A Ball mason jar filled with Happy Cat Gourmet Granola. Courtesy photo.

Find Happy Cat Gourmet Granola in NH

Brothers Butcher Premium Meats & Market in Nashua
Pressed Cafe in Nashua
Whole Foods in Nashua (original and blueberry)
Nashua Farmers Market, Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bedford Farmers Market, select Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
Merrimack Farmers Market, every other Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m.
See: Search “Happy Cat Company LLC Gourmet Granola For People” on Facebook.

Coconut, cranberries and congrats
Gourmet granola business celebrates first anniversary

By Allie Ginwala

 When Karen D. Bill decided to try making her own granola, starting a business was far from her mind — she just wanted something to mix with her morning yogurt that was better than the granolas she could buy at the store. 

For seven years she worked on her recipe. She took the old-fashioned oats base and tried it with raisins, golden raisins and different types of nuts.
“I just used to give it to people as gifts, and I’d eat it myself, of course, every day at work and people would say, ‘Oh this is so good, you should start a business!’” Bill said. “And then you go, ‘Yeah yeah, right right, whatever.’”
It wasn’t until 2012 when she left her job as executive director at the Humane Society of Greater Nashua that she felt it was the time in her life to make a big change. 
“I thought, I’ll take some time off and find that next great adventure, and I just didn’t find the perfect fit that was gonna work for my soul,” she said. 
After sharing a Tupperware of granola with a friend who immediately requested to buy some (and, in the next days, asked for more and more), Bill realized it was time to take the leap of faith. 
“I said, ‘OK God, I get the message, now is the time for me to start my granola business,’” she said.
Happy Cat Company Gourmet Granola (For People!) is now celebrating its one-year anniversary. 
Bill knew early on that she wanted Happy Cat to be the name of her business, but decided to make it the Happy Cat Company Gourmet Granola (For People!) so there is no confusion that the granola is a snack for humans, not their furry friends. 
She bakes in a commercial kitchen in downtown Nashua several times a week, preparing and packaging her granola in Ball mason jars. The glass jars give the product a local, New England feel and stand out amidst shelves of granola in plastic bags. The glass also preserves the freshness of the granola, which she puts in the jars four to six hours after it’s baked. Each jar is tied with a colorful ribbon and label featuring her signature cat logo.
Currently Happy Cat carries five flavors along with a limited edition option with white chocolate. When she first started selling granola, Bill only had the one recipe she’d been perfecting. Now called the original blend, it has dried cranberries, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, coconut, honey, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. After feedback from customers and increased interest, she decided to add another flavor — butterscotch. Then came chocolate, peanut-butter-scotch (which came about when she didn’t have enough peanut butter chips for a batch one day and added butterscotch chips to see what it tasted like), and blueberry. She’s in the experimental phase of another flavor but is quite happy with the selection she has right now. 
Happy Cat Gourmet Granola can be purchased through her Facebook page or at farmers markets and retailers in southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Ten percent of profits are donated to Kitty Angels in Tyngsboro, Mass., and Eye of the Storm Equine Rescue in Stow, Mass. And each November Bill, a U.S. Army veteran, switches the donations to a veterans’ organization. 
As seen in the June 4, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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