The OT Foods concept sprang from John’s time as a high-school teacher. Almost all of his students came from low-income households and many had unpredictable access to food. Each Friday, kids stuffed their backpacks with cafeteria leftovers, not knowing when their next meal would come. It was obvious that hunger had a profound negative effect on his students’ self-esteem, sociability, and academic performance.
Around the same time, John began paying closer attention to the food he ate. Teaching requires a lot of energy and his old diet consistently left him at a deficit. Granola bars and granola became a staple - tasty, healthy, and convenient. Or so he thought. It turned out that the tasty choices were filled with sugary syrups and eating the healthy ones felt more like a chore than a treat.
One day it hit him: ‘I should create a delicious, nutritious granola bar and donate a portion of the proceeds to local hunger relief organizations.’ Then he remembered he didn’t have any business or baking experience. Luckily, his brother Peter did and was excited to join the project. Peter’s creativity, enthusiasm, and energy immediately accelerated OTbar’s development. After many hours of baking and brainstorming, they arrived at products they are proud to share.
A bar for you. A bar for Philly. OTbar.
And now, granola for you + Philly too! OTbites.
Peter and John are brothers from the Philadelphia area. They were fortunate to always have reliable access to healthy food and believe everyone deserves the same.
Peter works in nonprofit theatre in Philadelphia and has always had a passion for baking. Since moving to the city, he has seen the overwhelming need for affordable, tasty, nutrient-packed food options.
John is a recent graduate from Drexel University’s Master of Public Health program. He is excited to apply what he’s learned to help create a healthier Philadelphia.