Lisa Giulianelli was working as a corporate meeting planner when she started dating someone who would turn her career plans upside down.

He had a serious whoopie pie addiction.

“He knew every place in the state that made them and what time they came out of the oven,” Giulianelli said.

She asked her then boyfriend (now husband) what it would take to get him off the whoopie pie train. His answer? Oatmeal cookies.

Giulianelli, who lives in Newport, set out to make the healthiest oatmeal cookie she could. After two years of tweaking recipes – at one point the cookies became fruit oat squares – she developed an oatmeal crumb tart filled with fruit fillings made by the Amish community in Smyrna.

A Pittsfield health food store expressed interest and after samples quickly sold out, Giulianelli started selling the cookies in earnest. Today Oats Any Time crumb tarts can be found at Lois’ Natural Marketplace in Portland and Scarborough, Coffee By Design, the Belfast Co-op, Morning Glory Natural Foods in Brunswick, Bow Street Market in Freeport and other local stores.


“My whole goal was to just focus on customers in Maine,” Giulianelli said, “so I don’t have any big dreams to get into Whole Foods. In fact, I turned down Hannaford. I just want it to be a fresh-baked product delivered to locally owned stores in Maine and just really help that economy.”

The tarts, which sell for $3.75-$4.99, are organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and dairy-free. They are made with macadamia nut oil, and contain cashews and sliced almonds for crunch. Her steel-cut and rolled oats come from Canada because she couldn’t find any in Maine that tested gluten-free.

Besides blueberry, the flavors include strawberry-rhubarb, blackberry, peach and strawberry. When I tasted a blueberry tart, I was struck by two things. One, it’s not too sweet, since the filling is made without any added sugar. Second, I was surprised by how substantial it was – it would make a great breakfast alternative. When I mentioned this to Giulianelli, she replied, “Each one is equal to a bowl of oatmeal, so it’s a meal replacement. It’s not really a dessert or a muffin, it’s real food.”

So, does her husband still have a hankering for whoopie pies?

“Somebody gave me a free one with a lobster roll I bought the other day, and I brought it home to him,” Giulianelli said. “He ate half of it and threw the rest away.”

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