Simon Donato, co-founder of Stoked Oats, an oatmeal company created by two friends “who absolutely loved to eat oatmeal” is a first time presenter on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage (July 6th at 12:30 p.m.) in the Western Oasis, BMO Centre Halls D & E. For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly tell us about yourself and what your typical day looks like. Simon Donato: I have a PhD in Geology and used to work for a major oil and gas company before starting Stoked Oats with my good friend Brad Slessor. In addition to Stoked Oats, I host a television show called Boundless – where I travel the world competing in gruelling ultra marathon races, and run an expedition based science organization called Adventure Science. A typical day involves dealing with Stoked Oats business, training from 1-6 hours, and depending on the time of the year, planning/working on, or travelling for Boundless and Adventure Science projects. CS: When did you know you wanted to be involved in the food industry? Simon Donato: I’ve always been an entrepreneurial person, so when I stopped eating cereal and started making my own super healthy oatmeal blends to help fuel my activities, it occurred to me that I might be able to turn it into a business. Thankfully Brad was of the same mindset, and together we created Stoked Oats. CS: What do you love about your job? Simon Donato: I love the interaction with customers, and the fact that we produce Canada’s healthiest gluten-free oatmeal blends. We’ve filled a void in the market place. It feels great to know that we are putting out a highly nutritious product that actually helps our customers achieve their health goals. No artificial additives, no added sugar, and gluten free. Our customers love the product. We have orders from across North America and in 18 months, are now in over 150 stores from Victoria to Montreal. It’s been an exciting ride made better by the fact that customers trust us for their nutrition – and we are honoured and thrilled to be able to deliver on that. CS: Do you have a favourite memory of the Calgary Stampede? Simon Donato: I am a huge fan of the grandstand show. The Young Canadians do such an incredible job each year – it’s something I never miss! CS: Do you have a recipe you would share with our readers?