BURRILLVILLE – Courtney Ellis-Dietz’s love of oatmeal goes back to her childhood, when she and her three sisters would fight for their favorite flavors at breakfast time in their Burrillville home.
This past October, Ellis-Dietz realized her dream of bringing the healthy food to the masses, opening OATmiel Café in a horse trailer she’d converted into a mobile kitchen.
Since early fall, she’s been serving up bowls of healthy oats with fruit, nuts and other natural products at locations across Providence from the trailer.
And at the end of this month, Burrillville residents will have a chance to get a taste of what she’s cooking, when Ellis-Dietz brings the trailer to town for the morning at Lawrence Brothers Hardware.
Ellis-Dietz says she got the idea to open the business while biking across the country with her sister.
“As bicyclists carrying our belongings behind us, we had to think practically,” Ellis-Dietz wrote. “Oats were light to carry and they kept us energized even our longest days. We began eating oatmeal daily. Some mornings we ate it with bananas and honey, sometimes with peanut butter, and when resources were really low, we even ate oatmeal with flavored creamers from the nearby gas station.”
Over the 3,500 miles that the pair biked, she says the conversation often turned to the subject of their career paths.
“Somewhere between Idaho and Michigan we came up with the idea to one day open our very own cafe – where people can enjoy a sweet or savory bowl of oats,” Ellis-Dietz said.
In November of 2017, Ellis-Dietz and her husband drove to Pennsylvania and purchased a 1978 horse trailer.
The couple spent much of the past two years converting the vehicle, creating a vessel where she could sell hot bowls of the stuff to hungry passersby from Providence’s first oatmeal shop.
Ellis-Dietz only uses gluten free certified oats in her mobile cafe and guests can create their own oat bowls or choose from one of her sweet or savory recipes including “Bee Diligent,” with scallions, bacon, fried egg and cheddar cheese; or “Bee Fruitful,” with bananas, kiwi, strawberries and coconut chips. The cafe also serves coffee that is Fair-Trade certified and can be found parked at locations including South Water Street, or by the Cranston Street Armory.
You can find the trailer from a link on the business’s website here.
And later this month, the Burrillville native will drive the trailer home. On Saturday, Nov. 30 OATmiel Café will be open at Lawrence Brothers Hardware at 92 Chapel St. from 9 a.m. to 1p.m.
“We’re looking forward to repair(ing) your hunger and nail(ing) down brunch for the whole family,” Ellis-Dietz joked on the business’s Facebook page. “Don’t miss oat!”