The Oat Company of St. John’s is winning fans with their snacks
Patrick Griffin of St. John’s, NL was looking for healthy, natural snacks for his family and couldn’t find them. That might sound surprising, because aren’t there TONS of healthy snacks? Actually, no. There are lots of healthy-IER snacks, but they often have a lot of sweeteners, strange ingredients, and artificial flavours. In Patrick’s words they were “Mostly fad, not always fab, so I had to make it myself.”
There was a tradition in Patrick’s home called Oatmeal Sundays, when his family would make snacks for the week, such as oatmeal blends or energy bites. One Sunday, Patrick’s daughter asked if they could take their food to a farmers’ market. Patrick agreed and they shook on it! They actually named the company that very first night too; The Oat Company. He says, “We just love oats and everything you can do with them, so why not go all in with the name. The name draws you in, and then we surprise you that it’s healthy and tastes great, too.”
Their first market was in April 2019, and they sold their first energy bar to a little boy who was in a long line up for a donut. But hey, he loved it and they were officially in business. The Oat Company has just turned three. “So that makes us a toddler?! We sure feel that way,” says Pat. “Always curious, happy to be playing with food and thrilled to meet new people.”
One of the keys to the company’s success is that they love to elevate the familiar. Take snowballs, the unofficial and beloved cookie of Newfoundland & Labrador, and The Oat Company’s best seller. “Well, our Snowball bites are vegan and gluten-free, with no added sugar and only four ingredients. Sea Salt Brownie? Same thing. Lemon Poppyseed? Come on...”
“Our all-natural energy bars are number one for us. They are built to be the go-to snack for a busy day at work, a hike with friends, or running errands with your family. Healthy, filling, and taste great.”
Patrick continues, “While I’m the only one that works fulltime at The Oat Company, it sure feels like a family business with all the support we get. From local deliveries, to packing orders, to painting retail racks, we have a deep support team. And of course, my Newfoundland & Labrador family. This is a special place, and we all take pride in supporting and promoting anything local. We have benefitted from that. It’s a good thing, too, because I’m still learning how to operate this airplane.”
Patrick doesn’t have a food industry background, nor had he ever owned a business. He studied and worked in public policy, but he says, “I know good, natural food. And I know how hard it is to eat healthy, especially if you’re busy. So, I put that passion into the business and, hopefully, make a product that can work for you, too.”
With free local deliveries in seven locations and growing (including Halifax), you can order anything that they make at oatcompany.com. And there are lots of retail locations. They just broke through 100 stores, from small cafes and health shops to larger grocery stores such as Sobeys.
The Oat Company promises two things—one, their food is authentically natural. You’ll feel great about every single ingredient they use.
And also, Patrick says, “it will be a highlight of your day. Not kidding! We aim to make craveable, gotta-have-it food. Just let us prove it!”