The Independent Life – Samantha Stephens

The owner of Oatmeals, a New York City oatmeal restaurant, says the growth of her business has been the realization of a long-held dream.

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Samantha Stephens is the founder of Oatmeals, a cozy eatery she opened in New York City’s Greenwich Village back in 2012. Its launch was the culmination of more than a decade of planning, she told us when we first wrote about her in December 2015. Ever since her college days, when she sustained herself on oats, Stephens dreamed of owning a shop that would sell sweet and savory varieties of the warm breakfast dish.

Six years on, Stephens says her local fanbase continues to grow. Oatmeals continues to expand its social media reach, engaging thousands of people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Its menu has grown, too — the store recently added even more savory options for customers to try, she says. And down the road, she aims to expand both within and beyond Manhattan and is contemplating locations in American airports and urban transit hubs.

Entrepreneurship hasn’t been the easiest path. “I don’t want to sugar coat it — it’s a tough world, especially in New York City,” she says. But the people she has encountered, from her staff to other restauranteurs making it work in Manhattan, have made the ups and downs of business ownership easier to navigate. And the struggle is worth it, she adds, because she’s accomplishing a goal she set for herself more than a decade ago. “I had this idea, and I wanted to make it happen. I’m happy that I’ve been able to accomplish my dream.”

Posted: January 12, 2018

The Story ExchangeThe Independent Life – Samantha Stephens