Ali Bonar, Oat Haus, Granola Butter


Meet the Granola Butter Queen

She’s Serious About Spreads

Interview by Hailey Bethke | Photography courtesy of Granola Butter®

Ali Bonar, the CEO and trailblazer behind Oat Haus, is not afraid to challenge convention, beginning with your favorite spread. Her journey started with innovating in her kitchen, seeking a nut-free alternative that tasted better than conventional seed-based butter spreads. After many test batches with the support of her cofounders, Eric Katz and Ari Schraer, the Oat Haus team perfected the irresistible Granola Butter, an oat-based spread that’s (dare I say) more addictive than a good spoonful of peanut butter. Think of a nostalgic graham cracker taste with dozens of ways to spread, eat by the spoonful, or use for baking—crafted with completely clean and allergen-free ingredients.

But she didn’t stop there: she candidly shared her journey of overcoming her eating disorder with her community on social media, even in the high-stakes environment of her pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank. From dying her hair pink to most recently relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio, for Oat Haus’s new warehouse, Bonar tackles each goal with an open-hearted spirit. She brings this same energy to the interview below: read on for insights on authentic entrepreneurship and tapping into your most vibrant self with the one and only Granola Butter Queen.

VIE: Tell our readers what Granola Butter is and why you started Oat Haus! We would love for you to share your thoughts on the importance of creating a fun product that tastes good and is made with the highest-quality ingredients.

Ali Bonar: Granola Butter is the world’s first oat-based spread—it has the spreadable texture of nut butter but is made of oats, so it’s 100 percent nut-free! Granola Butter comes in tantalizing flavors like brownie batter, cookie dough, birthday cake, and more. The idea came from my eating disorder recovery, so bringing fun and play to food is really important to us. We like to say it “just so happens to be healthy”—we want people to take a bite and say, “Wow! This tastes so good, I can’t believe this is made with nutrient-dense ingredients.”

VIE: What is a struggle you’ve navigated related to spirituality, health, or wellness and a tool you used to help heal?

AB: I struggled with food for over a decade—and finally sought professional help in 2016. I think working with a professional is so important, whether that be a therapist, psychiatrist, or dietitian. I don’t work with anyone anymore, but I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without them.

Ali Bonar, Oat Haus, Granola Butter

VIE: Tell us about your Shark Tank debut! What did prepping for the show look like, and what were your biggest takeaways from that experience?

AB: Shark Tank was such a surreal experience. I grew up watching the show, and never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be on it. Prepping involved lots of flashcards! You have no idea what the Sharks will ask you, so I had to know every little thing about our business, especially the financial side. My biggest takeaway is that vulnerability is strength—in the episode, I shared about my eating disorder recovery and was flooded with positive messages afterward. I think it was the first time someone had opened up about something like that on Shark Tank, and it was an honor to help others feel less alone.

VIE: What was it like overcoming your eating disorder and rebuilding your relationship with food?

AB: It did not happen overnight. There were (and continue to be) so many ups and downs! But the downs become few and far between. It felt like I was peeling away layers—unlearning so many toxic behaviors and getting back to who I was before the disorder. The beginning was the most challenging because I was putting in all this work and didn’t see any reward. But over time, I’d have these little glimmers of hope and moments where I recognized, “Wow—I’m making progress!” Fast-forward to now: I rarely think about food. I have a healthy relationship with it and am so grateful for that. But I also know I put the work in. It wasn’t handed to me.

VIE: What does living a vibrant, healthy life look and feel like to you?

AB: I used to think it was adaptogens, powders, and potions. But I’ve changed my tune—I think having a strong sense of community is the healthiest thing of all. When I was deep in my disorder, I was eating the cleanest I’ve ever eaten. But I was isolated. I didn’t have any friends, and I rarely went out. I was so unhappy! Loosen the grip, eat the Doritos—and don’t forget to play. I think that is where true wellness lies, not in the rigidity.

Finding the magic in the mundane is essential.

VIE: What is one health or wellness ritual that you never skip, no matter how busy life gets?

AB: Moving my body. It can just be a ten-minute walk! Getting my blood flowing and getting fresh air can change my mental state in an incredible way.

VIE: Name one challenge you’ve experienced that people might not guess from your life on social media or your success with Oat Haus.

AB: I’m incredibly hard on myself, and it’s something I’m currently working on. It’s difficult for me to celebrate my wins. When we launched Granola Butter in Target nationwide, I felt more depressed and anxious than I had ever felt—because all I could think about was everything we now had to do to succeed there. Goals also have this weird way of normalizing—so something that seemed absolutely incredible when we started the business (like launching in Target) suddenly becomes normal, expected, or less exciting. But I know feeling proud of myself is important, so I’m working on that.

VIE: What is one of your talents that lies deeper than what meets the eye?

AB: I have a fantastic bullshit radar. Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned listening to my intuition, and it’s never steered me wrong. I can’t explain it, but I can feel when a person or business deal is not aligned. It’s not always easy—something will seem right on paper, but I know in my gut it’s not correct, and that’s hard. I’ve had times where I didn’t listen to my intuition and regretted it later.

VIE: What are some tips or insights for finding balance and prioritizing joy? How do you prioritize your relationships and business while holding space for yourself to rest and reflect?

AB: Finding the magic in the mundane is essential. Hitting milestone goals is great, but how can I enjoy this random Monday afternoon? Also—infusing more pleasure into my day helps. It can be little things: admiring flowers on my walk or picking up a little treat at Starbucks on the way to work. I spent many years grinding. And while it’s necessary to work hard when building a business, you can also have fun and play while you do it.

VIE: What are some of your favorite Oat Haus products and flavors?

AB: Our brownie batter at Target is absolutely otherworldly. Try to limit yourself to just a spoonful—I dare you!

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Follow Ali Bonar on Instagram @alibonar and the business or

Rapid-Fire Facts with Ali Bonar

Advice you would give to your twenty-year-old self: Follow your intuition. Listen to your internal voice, not what you “think” you should do.

One thing that will always make you laugh: Silly TikToks my brother sends me

Favorite form of movement: Walking in nature

A simple joy you experience in your daily routine: Cuddling with my dog, Squishy

Favorite sweet or salty treat: A pretzel dipped in Granola Butter—sweet and salty!

Ideal weekend destination: Miami, Florida

Something you’re proud of: Moments where I did the hard thing, but the right thing

If you weren’t running Oat Haus, you would be: Working in the field of psychedelics

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