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Umpqua Oats

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Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Becomes National and Global Brand with Help from SBDC

When Mandy Holborow and Sheri Price went to a coffee shop and ordered oatmeal for their kids, they found the mush made from a brown paper packet less than appetizing. They wanted something more, something healthier, an honest meal. Later, around the breakfast table as their kids got ready for a soccer match, Umpqua Oats was born. One of their first stops: the Umpqua SBDC.

The Umpqua SBDC started working with Mandy and Sheri in 2008, early in the company’s development.

“The UCC SBDC gave us an understanding of how to implement our idea into a business,” said Mandy. “Our adviser met with us weekly and gave us clear objectives and goals which really guided us to our initial business platform.”

The company developed healthy, delectable, grab-and-go oatmeal first in Sheri’s kitchen in test batches before moving to a production facility. The company’s first customers were coffee shops, before they graduated to grocery stores and internet sales nationwide. Within three years, the company’s products were sold in all 50 states and internationally. Today, Umpqua Oats is one of the largest instant oatmeal brands, competing with the biggest companies in the industry.

“The consultation and guidance we received was invaluable. If you have an idea or dream about starting a business, start with the SBDC,” said Mandy. “There are many professional resources that can make your dream attainable and successful.”

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