Samantha Stephens

samantha stephens of oatmeals on kitchen daily
samantha stephens at oatmeals nyc

While in college, my "Freshman 15" pounds quickly became the "Freshman 30”! Desperate for a healthy change, I turned to oatmeal as a means to start eating better while staying within my student budget. I began eating oatmeal pretty simply, with just a touch of milk and sweetener. Soon, I started to jazz it up and get creative. I experimented with making savory oatmeal, adding various cheeses and spices. Before I knew it, I was eating oatmeal for lunch and dinner as well as breakfast and my love affair with oatmeal began!

I was always passionate about the restaurant industry, closely following restaurant trends and reading reviews daily. I noticed many single-item, specialty cafes popping up in New York City. I wondered, “Why hasn’t anyone created an oatmeal toppings bar?" Healthy eating was all anyone was talking about. My vision for OatMeals blossomed at that time but my path to getting the shop open wasn’t a straight line from there.

Through all the challenges, I still love showing people all you can do with oatmeal.

After college, I worked in the investment banking world. Not knowing how to make my OatMeals dream a reality, I decided to attend courses at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Business Management and even in Food Writing. Eventually, I took my passion to the next level when I graduated from the French Culinary Institute’s Pastry Arts Program in 2010.

In 2012, I opened up OatMeals, the world's first oatmeal bar, in New York City's Greenwich Village. My vision had been 12 years in the making, and was inspired by my life as the quintessential foodie and tons of wonderful meals.

Doing this all on my own has been hard. I work in the store every day, but even when I leave, I’m always connected to it between paperwork, orders and everything needed to keep it running. I have more respect for restaurant owners than I ever did before.

Through all the challenges, I still love showing people all you can do with oatmeal. I can't wait to experience the next chapter for OatMeals and to continue to share my oatmeal creations, both in my shop and through my new partnership with Quaker Oats! 

As I love to tell people, oatmeal is anything but old-fashioned!

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