Hello Dr. Becker’s Bites Family!
A couple weeks ago you received a letter from me announcing my intent to keep you updated with the news from Dr. Becker’s Bites. With this letter, I would like to introduce you to each member of my family and their relationship with Dr. Becker’s Bites.
I am ‘the mom’ who 20 years ago created Dr. Becker’s Bites at the request of my veterinary daughter, Karen. I started experimenting in my kitchen, we moved the ‘messy’ process to the basement very quickly and worked from there about 2 years. During that time our family would visit and we’d get help from our grand-kids…Sam and Rachel dug right in to help Grandpa bag the bites.
Making the Bites in my basement
Jim with Sam and Rachel
My husband, Jim, assisted with some of the work. He was a language teacher to high school kids for nearly 40 years. We took many groups of high school students to France. We eventually retired from traveling with students. He loves to travel. He loves languages. And he loves Dr. Becker’s Bites! He has been the primary cheering and support part of our team, giving encouragement, helping at Trade Shows and Farmer’s Markets, and sharing our treat with whomever he meets who has a dog or cat.
John, our eldest, is entrepreneurial by nature. He graduated with honors in business administration from Louisiana Tech University and started working with me when he saw the potential for a business in my little basement hobby. He quickly moved Dr. Becker’s Bites from a part time hobby to a full-time business. He found a location in St Anne, Illinois with the perfect building in which to establish a bakery. We moved our equipment and ourselves to our new bakery and the three of us started making Dr. Becker’s Bites together. John lived nearby with his family and my husband and I took up residence in Illinois. John has raised six children and currently lives in Illinois with his wife Tab and their youngest daughter Mary who is a senior in high school this year.
Two of John's daughters, Blair and Mary
John working in the "new" bakery
John and his daughter Blair
Ann, our eldest daughter, graduated from law school and practiced environmental law for several years before moving to Phoenix with her husband, Brett and their little children. Their three are now young adults, with their twins in their 2nd year of college and their youngest a senior in high school.
Ann moved from environmental law with Arizona Public Service to a vice-president position. Last year she was selected to the 2017 list of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business. What an honor, and when you know her, you understand why she is on that list. Because of her law degree, it was easy for John and me to turn to her for legal advice, suggestions and contractual information. She has become an integral part of our family business offering advice or opinions and listening when we needed a good ear.
My daughter Ann and her family
My daughter Ann
Karen, our youngest daughter and the Doctor of Dr. Becker’s Bites, has been an animal lover from her youngest years. My statement has been, “she came out of the womb attached to animals”. Karen started her ‘career’ in junior high when she volunteered for the Black Hawk Humane Society cleaning kennels. She began to rehabilitate wildlife, returning every successful patient back to the wild. She made her turning point decision one day in high school when she returned home from the vet’s office with one of her wildlife patients. She announced to me that she had to ‘be the vet’, she could not spend the rest of her life ‘going to the vet’. She eventually graduated from Iowa State Veterinary School and opened her own practice, Natural Pet Animal Hospital in Tinley Park, Illinois. One day early in her new practice, she asked me to make her a human grade treat from beef liver...one she could use with her patients. And that was how we got started!!! Karen has two adult kids (not from her womb), a son who with his wife and their new baby live in Illinois. Her daughter lives in Phoenix.
Designing Karen's new clinic, Natural Pet Animal Hospital
Karen and her daughter Danielle
Karen and her son Jim
And lastly and hugely important to me, our granddaughter, Blair...John’s daughter joined forces with us about 5 years ago, making us a three generation family business. As a child, she spent time with us each summer and was her Aunt Karen’s right-hand helper with wildlife rehabilitation. She worked in her aunt’s vet clinic after graduating high school and through all this, acquired the love for animals that seems to run in our family. Today, Blair is becoming a business woman, having recently been moved into a central role at Dr. Becker’s Bites. You will see Blair’s name and picture on our Facebook page and other social media pages. If you have personal communication with our office you may easily find yourself talking with Blair. Blair and her husband, Nate, are raising 2 teenage boys, both of whom are great kids!
A young Blair
Blair working with Karen
Blair and her husband Nate
There you go! That’s my family. I’m proud of each one of them and so very happy to be so intimately involved with a family business that includes three generations. They are all amazing individuals and I hope you get to meet each of them one day. As we progress in these letters, you will undoubtedly hear family stories that are just too good/funny not to share. I love to talk about my grandkids!
...from ‘the mom’