How The World's First OatMeals Cafe Has Reimagined The Use of The Traditional Grain

“I really believe that if you start your day with oatmeal you normally make better decisions throughout the rest of your day… So, this brand has a lot of legs in today’s world,” says Stephens.


On this episode of Emerging Brands, Samantha Stephens, chef and founder of OatMeals shares with Foodable the origins of her single-ingredient fast casual concept and how she built it from the ground up.

OatMeals is the world’s first oatmeal cafe located in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in New York known for its brownstones buildings. Stephens believes her brand in very on-trend right now especially with the rise of the health movement and all the benefits and versatility that oats have to offer.

What sets this concept apart is the fact that not only it is a business concept that revolves around oats, but also the fact that it aims to evaluate the way traditional breakfast meals involving oats have been regarded for decades.

“So, it’s a build-your-own toppings bar. We’re sort of putting a non-traditional twist on old-fashioned oatmeals...,” says Stephens. “The more and more I ate oatmeal the more I realized it’s very similar to risotto or rice… You could really think about it as like a savory side dish. It’s so versatile! It sort of adapts well to any kind of topping you put on it…”

Stephens went on to explain how she experimented with the grain by adding parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, truffle oil, goat cheese, eggs, and bacon. She offers savory oatmeals as well as the traditional breakfast and sweet oatmeal offerings.

Listen to the podcast above to learn about how Samantha Stephens gained the confidence to build this business, the challenges she faces when figuring out a reasonable price point for her menu items, and how her concept aims to stay relevant in the food world in terms of trends.

To learn more about the Shark Tank-backed concept—OatMeals— check out the The Barron Report Live video interview below!

Tom Holt, Founder and CEO of Urbane Cafe, Shares His Thoughts On Sustaining Growth

On this episode, Tom Holt, Founder and CEO of Urbane Cafe, shares with Foodable insightful information about focusing on the consumer and their demands to sustain growth.

“If you nail down your culture in your restaurant, and you have the right systems and processes in place, those are the areas you can create a winning brand,” said Holt.

Holt emphasizes on setting the culture for your brand that both your team and guests can understand. Whether a brand is within the start-up phases or an already-existing restaurant, setting up the culture and mission statements are the most influential decisions.

Urbane Cafe opened in 2003 in Holt’s hometown of Ventura, Calif. The idea was to create a true community café that focused on quality, healthy and satisfying meals. The concept revolves around a hearth oven, providing freshly baked bread made to order.

Produced by:

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


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Danny Meyer-Backed Fast Casual Pizza Concept Transitions to Full-Service

It appears as though the Danny Meyer-backed pizza concept Martina wasn't performing as well as a fast casual concept. The New York pizzeria has transited from the fastcasual format to full-service.

The Union Square Hospitality Group, which started the fast casual success Shake Shack, closed Martina last week to complete the revamp.

The new restaurant opened back up Monday and is serving bigger portions and a new menu.

The menu includes more wine selections and a new Reuben with mortadella, artichoke slaw, and cheese.

Martina was opened in August of 2017 by the renowned chef Nick Anderer as a more affordable version of his restaurant Marta. Before the revamp, people would order at the counter then pick up their thin-crust pizzas at the counter after their buzzer went off.

Although this format has been proven successful for the better-burger chain Shake Shack, Martina has much more competition in the pizza market. Not only is it in a city known for its thinly slice pizza slices, but the pizza fast casual market is now much more saturated.

There's Blaze pizza, Mod Pizza, &pizza– just to name a few of the pizza-focused fast casuals rapidly expanding across the country.

Then Pizza's consumer Sentiment is down too. Customers are ordering pizza-less.

According to Foodable labs data, Pizza delivery is down by 18.5 percent year over year. This is partly because the quality of the pizza being delivered most of the time isn't up to customers' standard.

Will this influence guests to visit pizza fast casual concepts in store more? Or have guests developed a taste from different cuisines as more fast casual chains have emerged serving new exciting cuisines like Mediterranean food?

But USHG isn't giving up on the pizza concept, instead, the group is aiming to elevate it. Its rare for a restaurant to transition into a more formal format as the demand for on-the-go food becomes more widespread.

Do you think this revamp will pay off?

Read more about Martina's big change at "Eater" now.

Foodable Labs tracks over six million influencers and over 100 pizza chains. Want to find out what else is causing the slip in pizza Sentiment? Watch the video about the decline in pizza delivery below.

Plant-based Meat Gets Pushback From Missouri and France

As more consumers gravitate to plant-based diets, multiple vegan companies have emerged to provide more options that fit into these consumers' lifestyle.

While Beyond Meat just filed an IPO, this plant-based burger company, along with others in the market appear to be facing legal challenges from the state of Missouri and the country France.

"In France, you can now be fined 300,000 euros (about $343,000) if you “use ‘steak,’ ‘sausage,’ or any other meat term to describe products that are not partly or wholly made up of meat,” BBC reports. This rule also applies to dairy alternatives," writes "Fortune."

Even using the a term before steak like "soy steak" isn't allowed.

Missouri passed similar legislation this year over the legal term of meat.

"Missouri lawmakers earlier this year banned food marketers from marketing a product as meat if it’s not made of livestock or poultry. The fine for violations can run as high as $1,000, and you can end up incarcerated in a penitentiary," writes "Fortune."

But as "Fortune" points out– why isn't peanut butter forced to adhere to these types of laws That's because some meat companies are declaring war on plant-based meat.

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association pushed for the law and then in France, a cattle rancher sponsored the bill.

While some are trying to halt the plant-based companies’ growth, others are jumping on the veggie meat bandwagon.

Tyson Foods invested in Beyond Meat back in 2017 and then in Memphis Meats, a lab-created meat company.

“We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices," said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods when the company invested in Memphis Meats.

Cargill also invested in Memphis Meats saying it was a move "all about sustainability."

Read more about these laws barring plant-based products from using the term meat at “Fortune” now.

Will more laws like this arise? And how will Beyond Meat respond?

We recently covered Beyond Meat's massive growth and the company's decision to go public on an episode of The Barron Report. Watch the video below to see how this company's Wall Street move will impact the plant-based industry.

Beyond Meat Goes Public

A few weeks ago, there were rumors that the plant-based company Beyond Meat was planning to go public before the end of the year.

Well, these rumors ended up being true because last Friday, Beyond Meat filed an initial public offering for $100 million.

Beyond Meat reported $56.4 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2018, which is a 167 percent spike from last year.

"Going forward, we intend to continue to invest in innovation, supply chain capabilities, manufacturing and marketing initiatives," said the company in the filing.

The plant-based market is growing at a rapid rate as more consumers gravitate to a vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle.

Plant-based consumption is up over 300 percent over the last year, according to our Foodable Labs data.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has also released market data from Nielsen showing that the sales of this sector have recently exceeded $3.7 billion and that plant-based meat sales specifically have increased by 23 percent.

Beyond Meat was one the first companies to offer a vegan burger and quickly emerged as one of the biggest players in the plant-based protein market.

Besides being the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section at Whole Foods, the company has partnered with restaurants and food distributors across the country to get the Beyond Burger on more menus.

Beyond Meat has sold over 25 million veggie burgers that are "the closest thing to meat" ever created, boasts the company.

But the company has developed a product mimicking meat for a reason. Its target demographic aren't vegans and vegetarians, instead, it's flexitarians who may eat meat but choose not to often because of its environmental impact.

"Instead of marketing and merchandising The Beyond Burger to vegans and vegetarians (who represent less than 5% of the U.S. population), we request that the product be sold in the meat case at grocery retailers, where meat-loving consumers are accustomed to shopping for center-of-plate proteins," writes the company in the filing.

The Beyond Burger is now available in 11,000 grocery stores across the country.

Read more about Beyond Meat going public at "CNN."

Don’t miss The Barron Report episode below where Paul Barron goes into more detail about the plant-based company’s move to go public.