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Lamb’s Ears co-owner begins granola venture, Market 46 Bakery

by SYDNEY CROMWELL

January 19, 2018

Photo by Sydney Cromwell

Elizabeth Roberts, co-owner of Lamb’s Ears in Crestline, recently started her own granola company, Market 46 Bakery. The name is borrowed from Roberts and Howell’s former vintage furniture and tableware rental business, Market 46 Rentals.

If Elizabeth Roberts needed confirmation that she was onto something with her granola recipe, it came when she introduced her salted caramel and dark chocolate flavor.

In the first two days the new recipe was at Lamb’s Ears, it sold 20 bags.

Roberts and her sister Julie Howell have owned Lamb’s Ears, at 70 Church St., since 2011. Roberts has been making granola for her husband and as gifts, but in early 2017 she decided to turn it into a business and create Market 46 Bakery.

The name is borrowed from Roberts and Howell’s former vintage furniture and tableware rental business, Market 46 Rentals. The sisters’ parents, Eddie and Elizabeth Gilmore, were married in 1946 and Roberts said she had a “fairytale upbringing.” When she decided to create the granola business, Roberts wanted to use the name that already had an emotional connection for her.

“That name was meaningful, being [I] learned to cook at my mother’s apron strings, so to speak,” Roberts said.

So far, Roberts has sold her granola through Lamb’s Ears and email orders, though she will be a 2018 Pepper Place summer market vendor and is finding other local stores to carry her products. She makes a regular granola and the salted caramel and dark chocolate flavor, as well as a cranberry orange mix that she offered during the holidays.

Market 46’s products don’t contain preservatives, so Roberts makes them a couple batches at a time to make sure they’re fresh when customers buy a bag. The core ingredients include oats, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, plus spices and sweeteners. 

The baking process is not difficult, Roberts said, but time-intensive, and she has to find the right balance so the granola turns out slightly crunchy and baked into large clumps.

“It’s been important to me to keep it fresh,” Roberts said. “It’s an all-night process.”

Roberts said it took about nine to 12 months to perfect her granola-making process before she even considered making it into a business. Her husband was her first taste tester, and now Roberts said selling the granola at Lamb’s Ears is her chance to do market research.

“It’s a great hostess gift, it’s a great neighborhood gift, it’s a great teacher gift,” Roberts said.

It can be a challenge balancing Market 46 with her desire to be a hands-on co-owner at Lamb’s Ears. If the granola business becomes popular enough, Roberts said she eventually wants to move to a more professional kitchen, add flavors and even consider expanding beyond granola.

Roberts’ mother began making sourdough bread in 1978 and gave her some of the original starter, which Roberts has used to make bread and cinnamon rolls for 25 years. If she expands beyond granola, Roberts said sourdough goods will be at the top of the list.

Order from Market 46 Bakery at Lamb’s Ears or by emailing Market46Bakery@gmail.com.