Sam Stephens, owner of one of Manhattan’s newest specialty cafes in Greenwich Village, left a career as an investment banker to follow the dream of owning her very own restaurant. 11 years later, OatMeals was born in New York City.
In this interview, Sam tells her story about how she found the ability to leave her job to follow her passion, how she has gotten some amazing press coverage (including a segment on ABC news, a feature in the Wall Street Journal, and a nice placement on New York Magazine’s Grub Street online — while spending ZERO dollars on publicity or advertising), and offers some tips for folks wanting to follow a similar path.
Topics covered in this interview include:
- How Sam applied for and received a small business loan
- How she found her niche in a crowded market
- How she is learning to manage her first set of employees as an entrepreneur
- How she has learned a lot about herself by developing a simple business plan
This interview is highly informative, revealing, and inspiring for those of you interested in finding a new career path and following a dream.
Sam also dealt with a bit of negativity while mapping out her plans for the development of OatMeals. However, even with a lot of people in her life telling her that they did not understand the concept of her idea, she knew not to give up. It took 11 years to get those doors open, but she made it happen with perseverance and good ol fashioned hard work.
Listen to the interview, keep it on in the background for the next 15 minutes, and I hope you get something out of it.
If you happen to be in the New York City area, stop by OatMeals and say hi to Sam! For more information about her bakery/café, check out her website and fantastic menu.
(Side note for the side streets: I originally came across OatMeals while working to launch Manhattan Sideways – a start up website helping to promote the side street businesses of Manhattan. If you’re in NYC, try out some of these not-so-traditional spots for a REAL flavor of the city)!
(Photo credit: Esteban Pedraza, Manhattan Sideways)
Click here to listen!