For many, the sudden transition to working from home last year introduced new challenges. For working parents, there was the added hurdle of keeping their children—who were suddenly at home too as schools went remote—engaged and busy. As the father of a four-year-old daughter, Rico Beans was one of these parents, and he saw an opportunity to help working professionals with children like himself.
That’s why Beans founded Raleigh-based Snack N’ Fun Box last year. It’s an ecommerce children’s subscription box service that comes with a different assortment of snacks and activities each month.
Beans, a Director of mergers and acquisitions for Intel, knows all too well the struggle of satisfying the short attention span of young children, who can quickly get bored of the same snacks and activities. He also knows that working parents simply don’t have the time to constantly search for new things for their kids to eat and do.
Snack N’ Fun is a simple way for parents to spruce up snack time and introduce their kids to a new activity without the extra effort, he said.
After Beans, a U.S. Air Force veteran, earned his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, he went on to hold various corporate leadership roles for companies including Verizon, Walmart and now Intel. He also coaches entrepreneurs and startups through a consulting company he founded called Equalize.
For Beans, the “fun” in Snack N’ Fun is seeing kids’ faces when they excitedly open a box to see what goodies lay inside.
“When I first sent the boxes out to some of my friends, they would take videos of their kids opening the box and you would see just how excited and joyful they were, like it was Christmas, Beans said. “That’s when I thought this could be a really cool thing,” Beans said.
Each box contains 10-12 handpicked, healthy and kid-friendly snacks as well as an assortment of activities including puzzles, crafts, games and books. For kids with the most common allergies, there’s an allergy-friendly box option.
Beans has also made boxes in the past for special occasions like birthday parties and for holidays like Easter, and plans to unveil more options in the future, he said.
Parents can make a one-time purchase or subscribe monthly at a discounted price. With limited in-person shopping choices last year, parents normally accustomed to stumbling upon new snacks in supermarket aisles suddenly had to order online, where many tend to just order tried-and-true items, Beans said.
“I get so many responses from parents whose kid loved a particular snack that the parent had no idea existed,” Beans said. “There are so many different options out there, and we take the hard work out of your hands and find new ones so you don’t have to.”