Business Name: Seriously Oats Website: https://www.seriouslyoats.ca/ Established: 2020 Questions answered by: Reynellyn Rebucas
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
Using a mixture of mainly rolled oats, whey protein, monk fruit sugar, plant-based milk, and plant-based fats, we make pre-portioned oat cups that customers refrigerate at home and heat up for as little as 30 seconds. Instead of your typical porridge-style oats, we have an oat-based product that feels and tastes like a dessert. We wanted to make something that customers could have for breakfast that’s convenient, tastes good, and is good for you too!
With the Winnipeg local maker community continuing to grow, what is the most important thing you’d like potential customers of your company to know?
We made these recipes up on our own and so far we’ve not heard of anyone else who has a product similar to ours. What we hope sets us apart from big oatmeal brands like Quaker is our variety of flavours, protein content, taste, and texture. We wanted to make breakfast enjoyable for our customers without the need to break the bank or set aside a lot of time in advance to prepare the workweeks meals.
What inspired you to start your business?
As a busy mom who works full time and had another job part-time, I barely had time to make myself breakfast. I always fell in and out of a fitness routine, but oats for breakfast remained consistent for every attempt. Quick oats, overnight oats, steel-cut oats, protein oat balls….I tried it all and changed it up from time to time for a little bit of excitement in my breakfast diet. I knew oats were good for me, so I ate them every day for months on end. It’s fast, convenient, and keeps me full.
One day I got really sick of my minute oats with protein and started thinking of how I could make them better. I have a sweet tooth and grew up with bakers in the family, so naturally, I thought about how I could use oats to make some of my favourite baked goods and the idea for my product was born.
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
I think I set a lot of my own mental roadblocks. I actually didn’t want to make this into a business at first. I was just making these oat cups for my family, to make our busy mornings easier. Then, by chance one day, my cousin came over and was hungry and I made her one of my oat cups; she insisted I couldn’t keep this to myself. She owns her own salon so she’s very business-oriented and felt this would be a good opportunity for me, so she continued to encourage me.
After making these oat cups for just friends and family, who all continued to encourage me, I still did not want to make it public. I knew it was a good product and people would love it, but I was still afraid. I’ve always been concerned about peoples opinions of me and I know it would crush me to launch something that people hated. It actually took me almost a year to start the process of launching an Instagram and sharing what I’ve done with the public. I actually didn’t even mean to launch yet at the time. I made an Instagram for my family and friends and they began sharing it on their personal pages and we kind of just hit the ground running.
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
What I love most about this experience are the connections I get to make with our customers. I’ve always loved making food and baking for friends and family. as well as using baking as a coping mechanism, but rarely ate the things I made. I feel like giving it all away made me happier than eating it anyway. Just seeing and knowing how people I cared about enjoyed what I made made me happy.
Now, I get to experience this on a larger scale. I love learning that I’ve given a mom more time in her day because she doesn’t have to spend a lot of time making breakfast or a workaholic that regularly skips meals during their workday has finally started to eat something nourishing and feels a difference in their energy levels. The business part and the preparation of the products is hard and time-consuming, but the fulfilment I get from being able to give others the gift of time and nourishment makes it all so worth it.
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
If you have something you believe in and your loved ones genuinely believe in too, then dive in. I had a feeling for a while that this was something special, but I let my doubts keep me from taking the leap. Take that first step forward, no matter how big or small.
Please share any upcoming events as well as the best place(s) for people the purchase your product!
We currently don’t have events to be part of, but will try to make it to one soon. For now, though, you can always order your oats through our website!