WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | DICK & JANE BAKING COMPANY
To tell the story of Dick & Jane Baking Company, I MUST start with the obvious. WHO ARE Dick and Jane? Are they real people? Well, as a matter of fact, they are. A married couple, in fact, who first met at college and bonded over a cookie. As Dick says, sometimes you just meet someone and there is instant karma. This was one of those moments. Jane was wandering the halls looking for the pizza guy and knocked on the door of Dick and his roommate, who had just received a box of cookies from home. Dick jumped up to offer a cookie and said, “Hi, I’m Dick.” And of course, she said, “Hi, I’m Jane.” Really? Yes. I asked if they made that up as a joke and was assured it was NOT a joke.
Fast forward, four kids and some of life’s ups and downs later, the idea of an educational snack was something Dick cooked up. As Jane puts it, “Dick has lots of ideas, and this was finally one I could agree with!” Their names just seemed to beg to be put on the box of an educational snack, not to mention that Jane is an elementary school teacher with a long line of educators in the family. Dick thought about the fact that when children are small and just learning to chew, parents often give them Cheerios™ to keep them occupied. When they are a bit older, they graduate to animal crackers, learning animal names and sounds. But when they get to school age, where is the educational snack then?
Enter Dick & Jane Baking Company with their educational snacks. The duo had NO idea where to even begin. They Googled “peanut-free bakers.” Before they knew it, they were interviewing commercial bakers and consulting with graphic designers, marketing companies, and the like.
Dick and Jane envisioned a sort of “educational snack library” with various “collections” that will continue to expand each year. Currently, there are collections that include States & Capitals, Presidents, English & Spanish, and the recently launched Health & Wellness collection, with themes like Fun & Fitness and Food & Nutrition. Soon, a pre-K collection for the 2- to 4-year-old crowd will be added that will include Animals & Sounds, Letters & Words, and People, Places & Things.
As a first grade teacher, Jane sees how a snack of this kind offers many opportunities for learning in the classroom. The crackers are great conversation starters and a wonderful way to get children excited about learning. They are a conduit for adults to interact with children and provide delightful “teaching moments.” The Dick & Jane products have been well received by educators, students, and parents alike.
Dick and Jane strive to keep their snacks low sugar and peanut free, as nutrition is important to them. In July 2016 they released a non-GMO line, and all of their product lines will be non-GMO eventually.
Dick & Jane Snacks are available to educators around the world, and many editions are now available on Amazon for the general consumer. Be sure to stay up to date with all the latest news by looking up Dick and Jane on Facebook and following them on Instagram (#educational_snacks) and Twitter (@DickandJane_Edu).
Dick & Jane Baking Company | DickandJaneBakingCo.com