Oaty Toaty is a gluten-free granola company working to turn around the bland, processed, low-quality reputation behind allergen-friendly foods. The brand dedicates itself to providing fun, high-quality, and tasty snacks for those with dietary restrictions. Oaty Toaty was founded by Abby Cheney, a sophomore studying marketing at the University of Utah.
At age 11, Cheney was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which immediately limited the scope of snacks that she was able to enjoy. She noticed that gluten-free snack options were often overprocessed, tasteless, and lacked creativity.
“When you have an allergy, it’s hard to find food that works for you and tastes good,” Cheney said. “I wanted to make a snack that was easy to take on the go but was also good for you.”
With that in mind, Cheney decided to start coming up with her own line of gluten-free granola. It became an instant hit with her family, and she decided that she wanted to go further with it.
Cheney was then led to the University of Utah and Lassonde Founders — a residential student-entrepreneur program — which helped her take the next steps to get Oaty Toaty off the ground.
“Finding out about the Founders program was eye-opening,” she said. “It gave my idea more structure and enabled me to collaborate with my peers and mentors in the program. It’s so helpful to get feedback from people with different kinds of experience. Lassonde provides a central place for entrepreneurs.”
Since the beginning of her time at Lassonde, Cheney has been able to develop her original granola recipe into an entire brand that is allergen-friendly and maintains quality and personality. Oaty Toaty currently carries three flavors: Blue Voodoo, Coco Loco, and PB&J. Cheney’s first time selling her product was at Lassonde’s Demo Day in May of 2023. She aspires to start selling her product in pop-up shops around Utah, as well as health stores and other supermarkets.
“I appreciate entrepreneurship because you’re always learning something new,” Cheney said. “This can make it challenging at times, but you get to grow throughout the process – and so do your customers. I feel like everyone deserves to enjoy snacking, and that’s not something people with allergies always get to do. That’s why I wanted to create an inclusive snack for everyone to enjoy.”