Here's What Happened To OatMeals After Shark Tank

If you're a longtime fan of "Shark Tank," then you've seen quite a few food products pass through the show's revolving door of entrepreneurs and pitches. But have you noticed a trend in certain types of foods that appear on the program? If you're pretty sure you've counted several oatmeal-based startups throughout the show's many seasons, it's not a mistake. The sharks have a thing for oatmeal. 

In the show's ninth season, Mark Cuban offered oatmeal-centric brand MUSH $300,000 for 10% of the company, with an unlimited line of credit (via BizzBucket). Today, the direct-to-consumer healthy oatmeal brand is available at retailers all across the country, including Publix, Wegmans, Safeway, and Target. Similarly, Go Oats Oatmeal Bites appeared on "Shark Tank," in Season 12, episode 2, with founder Nahum Jeannot requesting $150,000 for 10% equity in the company from the sharks (via Shark Tank Recap). Barbara Cochran offered Jeannot his requested $150,000 for an increased 15% stake and, now, after Go Oats' Shark Tank appearance, you can find the brand's products online and in stores such as Whole Foods and Target. While not entirely oatmeal, another oat-based food product also appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2021 – Oat Haus. The brand makes oat-based spreads for those who can't eat nut butters. Unlike the others, Oat Haus did not receive a deal on the show (via Shark Tank Tales).

One of the earliest oatmeal startups to appear on "Shark Tank," though, was OatMeals.

What is OatMeals?

OatMeals, a New York City-based business, was the world's first all-oatmeal cafe. Opening in 2012, OatMeals offered more than 30 sweet and savory oatmeal bowls and oat-based pastries and, in 2018, OatMeals appeared on "Shark Tank" and walked away with a deal. Lori Greiner offered owner Sam Stephens $500,000 in exchange for 33.3% of the business, though the deal relied on Stephens securing a partnership with Starbucks and producing a frozen food line (via Eater). 

But what happened to OatMeals after its "Shark Tank" appearance? According to The Shark Tank Blog, the deal with Greiner never closed. Still, that didn't mean that Stephens was out of business. The New York City location of OatMeals was still open and Stephens also had a partnership with Quaker Oats, working as the brand's Creative Oatmeal Officer. She also contributed to and appeared in a range of publications and television segments, promoting her brand, oatmeal, and female entrepreneurship.

OatMeals meets a slow death

While OatMeals continued to serve its clientele even after the "Shark Tank" deal with Lori Greiner fell through, the cafe would close in January 2021. According to the brand's website, the closure was a result of the same challenges that many independent businesses faced, particularly restaurants, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this closure, though, the OatMeals brand did hold on a little bit longer. Its social media presence (at least on Instagram and Facebook) was still active through March 2022, sharing oatmeal-related tips, inspiration, and recipes.

As of the time of the cafe closure, Sam Stephens was still working with Quaker Oats, and the OatMeals website reported she was working on a recipe blog and cookbook. Additionally, according to her LinkedIn page, Stephens found a new job at Alliance Marketing Partners as a director of mobile marketing only a few months after OatMeals' cafe closure. Unfortunately, Stephens' personal LinkedIn and Instagram feeds have also gone rather dark in recent months, with no updates on that recipe blog or cookbook.