'Good Oats' make Spokane a healthier community




Posted on April 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 4:24 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Oatmeal can give you a good jump on the day normally, but now, a dynamic duo in Spokane is turning it into something to lift the entire community.

Inside Downtown Spokane’s Method Juice Café, patrons see drinks with names like “vital” and “pure” pouring from the juicer. Other times, they’ll find café owners Nick Murto and Tyler Lafferty sitting down making oatmeal.

These are “Good Oats,” a name with a double meaning. They’re healthy, but also boost the community.

Murto was reading the book “Start Something That Matters” when the idea grabbed hold.

“For every one of these packages of Good Oats that we sell, we could just donate one to the food bank,” he says.

It’s a lofty idea: buy one, give one. Even so, Lafferty needed no convincing.

“People want to do good. They want to eat good, they want to good, and we’re just trying to help make that happen,” Lafferty says.

The idea is catching on. Customers buy a package of the quick oatmeal for $3. Then, the owners deliver another package to Spokane’s Second Harvest food bank.

“Tyler and I did the first drop-off of food about a month ago. It was amazing. I think we were able to drop off about 120 different packages of Good Oats that day,” Murto said. Tyler added, “And kind of just internalizing that-- wow, you just gave 22 pounds of food away that’s going to help nourish some kids.”

The staff at Second Harvest are big fans of the idea.

“We chose our Northeast Youth Center after-school program to distribute these wonderful bowls of oatmeal. The kids absolutely love them and just went crazy,” Melissa Cloninger of Second Harvest said.

Method Juice Café’s owners are now dreaming of even bigger good deeds. They hope to make Good Oats a nationwide idea and insist it will always retain good intentions.

“That’s ingrained in what good oats is, so we will always do the buy one, give one,” Lafferty said.