Entrepreneurs turn oats into big breakfast venture, seek Chandler space SanTan Sun News

Entrepreneurs turn oats into big breakfast venture, seek Chandler space

May 10th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
Entrepreneurs turn oats into big breakfast venture, seek Chandler space
Business
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By Shelley Gillespie

Rushing out the door without breakfast is a common approach for many. When the need for food arises, people often stop for a breakfast sandwich.

Brian Tate and Jeff Yauck tried that approach, but it didn’t offer the healthy boost they needed to start their days. Not finding something quick and healthier, they decided to make it themselves.

“I wasn’t used to eating breakfast, but I did the research and this fits in with my energy needs,” Yauck said.

In August, they opened Oats Overnight, their own manufacturing company, which they are hoping to move to a Chandler space soon. They make healthy oat breakfasts in several flavors. Bypassing the normal purchasing approaches, customers order directly from their website, oatsovernight.com. They’ve also advertised on social media.

“If you have a quality product, people will share,” Tate said.

Yauck had already been making a similar breakfast himself, but the pair settled on flavored mixes of Green Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana, and Strawberries & Cream.

Customers use their preferred milk or milk equivalent to shake with the ingredients in a tightly sealed Blender Bottle, then place the mix in the refrigerator overnight.

The results, more shake than oatmeal, provide customers with 24-26 grams of protein, plus the protein from milk, with oats, powders and concentrates of apples, strawberries, bananas, maca root, flax seed and chia seeds. Sweetening is kept to a minimum with ace-k, sucralose and maple syrup powder included, depending on the flavor.

The starter pack, which includes the Blender Bottle and three pre-measured breakfast packs, is priced at $18. Subscriptions are available for 12 or 24 packs. Currently, shipping is included.

When they began, the two entrepreneurs had no idea how fast the demand would grow. They rented a 1,750-square-foot space in Tempe that they outgrew within three months.

“When we took the space, we thought the space was so enormous,” Yauck said.

“It’s not enough room,” Tate said.

Now they’re planning a move for March to a Chandler location with around 7,500 square feet.

Originally, they used a coffee blender to grind the ingredients, but quickly grew to a 130-serving blender. Now, they’re using a 3,000-serving ribbon blender.

“We’ve been tripling our orders every month,” said Tate. “We hit 5,000 customers yesterday.”

Tate and Yauck have been hands-on in every aspect of the venture, from researching ingredients, sourcing, manufacturing and shipping. They pack the orders themselves and ship no later than the next day.

With the crush of orders – expected to total 30,000 servings in January – they’ve needed to hire six people and were interviewing additional people in late January.

Their plans include an expansion of their product line with several new flavors that could include stevia, a natural sweetener. A nutritionist on their staff weighs in on the ingredients.

Prior to starting Oats Overnight, Yauck had been in Hollywood building movie sets for small productions.

Tate took a six-month break from his career as a professional poker player in Los Angeles.

“Poker playing is like being a stock broker. You assess the risks and make decisions,” Tate commented.

This break from his poker playing shows his willingness to risk on their Oats Overnight venture. They began the business after being friends for nearly 10 years, five of them in Arizona.

Originally, their marketing focused on fitness-oriented people, plus those who have no time to think about health concerns. They quickly discovered that the potential market was much broader.

“We’re producing a healthy, efficient, relatively cheap breakfast,” Tate mentioned.

“We hope to replace cereal as a quick and easy option.” Yauck added.

Tate and Yauck talk like a tag team, finishing each other’s sentences, but it is apparent that they wholeheartedly care about their product, its benefits, and making their customers happy.

The results show it’s working.

Oats Overnight has been so engrossing that Yauck admits, “We don’t have a life.”

Tate said, “We both have girlfriends we don’t see much. No life, but lots of oatmeal.”

Their motto: Life is hard. Make breakfast easy.

Find out more about Oats Overnight at oatsovernight.com.

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