Spotlight On: Oat Shop with Founder Alan Donovan

In this new series, we are highlighting the names and faces of the people behind our favorite tour stops! This week, we interviewed Alan from Davis Square's Oat Shop. With one full year of business behind them, we can't be luckier that Oat Shop is in town. On our Davis Square, Somerville Food Tour we stop at Oat Shop and try out one of their many delicious and ever-changing oatmeal bowls, and we hope you join us!

Oat Shop Boston in Somerville

How did you come up with the concept of an oatmeal cafe?

Alan: I previously worked in finance and I constantly wished for a healthy and hearty breakfast option. The one meal that could actually keep me feeling full and good until lunch was oatmeal. I loved to make it at home when I had the time, but I often found myself rushing out the door. I noticed that a lot of my colleagues also struggled to find a good breakfast option. I felt like oatmeal was under appreciated and began experimenting with sweet and savory oatmeal combinations. This is what became the core of my cafe concept.

Are you happy that you chose Somerville as Oat Shop’s first location?

Alan: Absolutely, the Somerville community a great place to live and own a business. We have found a very supportive customer base that we have gotten to know personally. Folks in Somerville are passionate about their food and we love being a part of the exciting food scene. Somerville business owners have also been really supportive in helping us through many of the day-to-day challenges.

What is one of your favorite memories from your first year in business?

Alan: It is hard to choose! We accommodate a lot of dietary restrictions like gluten free and dairy free. A few months back we had a customer come in not expecting to be able to eat anything. We were able to explain our processes and knowledge about our ingredients and made the person feel comfortable coming back time and time again. It was great to see them enjoying our food and feeling like they were in good hands.

What has been unexpected in the past year?

Alan: One thing that definitely caught us by surprise was the growth of our breakfast catering program. This was initially an afterthought, but after an amazing response from the few office catering jobs we did early on, it has now grown to a very significant part of our business.

What is your favorite bowl flavor?

Alan: I love the Sriracha Fried Egg bowl, it is a really unique combination and I can’t get enough of it! 


Visit Oat Shop at 22A College Avenue in Somerville’s Davis Square.

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