Whether it’s through her products or philanthropic efforts, OMG Overnight Oats founder Alexis Brown is all about giving back to her community.
Brown strives to provide healthy, balanced and ready-to-eat meals, snacks and desserts to consumers in the Valley and beyond while simultaneously raising funds and awareness for a cause she believes in.
Health and wellness have always been important to the Scottsdale entrepreneur. During the pandemic, Brown often made her overnight oats with protein powder. The protein-rich snack became a regular, healthy meal for the former dental hygienist and her husband, who still works in healthcare, during a time when accessing health-forward foods was difficult.
She continued to make and serve her overnight oats, which quickly became popular among her friends, neighbors and family during quarantine. In October 2020, Brown transformed her pandemic passion project into a full-time business. Brown says the pandemic allowed her the perfect opportunity to launch because “people still needed to eat… and were trying as much as they could to be healthy.”
OMG offers single-serving, 9-ounce overnight oatmeal packages in nine different flavors. Prices start at $6.99 for products with whey isolate protein and $7.99 for vegan protein. Orders are direct-to-consumer through weekly home delivery options within Maricopa County. OMG is also carried in local retailers like Chestnut Fine Food & Provisions, Next Level Fitness, Peak Nutrition, Stemistry, barre3, 85 Local and X Phoenix.
However, OMG’s operations were not always this streamlined. In the early stages of her business, Brown found herself at local farmers markets trying to get people to take an interest in her oats. “I have a lot of people that have said to me, ‘I just don’t like oatmeal,’” she says.
One of those previously oatmeal-averse people is Kasey Kroll, who owns the barre3 fitness studio in North Scottsdale and carries OMG in-store. “We just did an event together and [Kroll’s] like, ‘I’m just not an oatmeal person,’” Brown says. “Just yesterday, she sent me a message and she said, ‘Best oatmeal I’ve ever had, best oats I’ve ever had.’”
How does Brown convince those who are skeptical? She says it comes down to “finding the right combinations… Nothing’s frozen. There’s no fillers. There’s no additives. Everything is very clean and healthy.” The nine OMG flavors and original recipes range from the best-selling apple cobbler and banana nut bread to strawberry sundae and vanilla cold brew cacao.
One flavor in particular, B&G’s PB Nutella Brownie Bliss (only served with whey isolate), is special because it was crafted by Brown’s twin sons Brody and Graham, who were both diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. Combining her sons’ favorite things – peanut butter, Nutella and vegan chocolate chip cookie dough – Brown says it is a healthy alternative if you’re craving something sweet. “And it was created with love by these two boys that have made leaps and bounds.”
April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Brown is donating 25 percent of OMG Overnight Oats’ April earnings to the Gentry Foundation for Autism. It is a Phoenix-based nonprofit that provides scholarships for underinsured families seeking autism evaluations for their young children.
The average age of an autism diagnosis in Arizona is 5, however many often go undiagnosed for years. The Gentry Foundation emphasizes the importance of early autism intervention – a diagnosis before the age of 3 could mean up to 600 additional hours of intervention while the brain is still actively developing. However, evaluations often range from $800 to $1,500 out-of-pocket without insurance. “I will always give back to this cause no matter what,” Brown says. “I would never want a family to have to go without knowing [about a diagnosis] … because of financial reasons.”
Brown has served on the foundation’s board of directors since its inception in 2016. She also accepts annual donations through OMG Overnight Oats. “That first year, my goal was one diagnosis … $1,500 and I did it. Last year, I did $1,500 again, and this year I’m looking to double that to do at least two [diagnoses],” she says. “My goal as the years go on and my business grows is to be able to do 5, 10, 15 diagnoses to give back.”
OMG Overnight Oats is currently in the running for “Best Local Food Product” in PHOENIX’s 2023 Best of the Valley Readers Choice Ballot. Click for more information about OMG Overnight Oats or the Gentry Foundation.