Our Namesake April 10 2012, 2 Comments

Our fascination with presidential history began on a road trip into the Appalachian mountains. How long would it take to memorize all 44 presidents in chronological order? Turns out: 5 hours in a car, a few songs and a handful of mnemonics to remember them all. Out of all 44, a few stood out as our personal favorites.

Martin Van Buren was the 8th president of the United States, although he was the first in many ways. He was the first President to be born in the United States and he was also the first bilingual president, speaking both Dutch and English. He was raised in Kinderhook, New York by his parents Abraham and Maria- they owned a tavern and inn visited often by politicians and government workers, including Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

While his political contributions may not interest everyone, Van Buren's contribution to the English language and culture is certainly worthy of note. According to linguists, it was Martin’s campaign slogan that preserved the phrase “OK” in our lexicon. Stemming from his nickname “Old Kinderhook”, supporters would take to the streets chanting “OK, OK!”

So, you may ask, Why Kinderhook Snacks?” Really, we adopted the name because we were intrigued by Mr. Van Buren’s charming mug: his voluminous mutton chops and somewhat sly grin. Secondly, it’s rumored that Martin was in fact, an epicure who hosted lavish banquets at his home both before and during his presidency. Surely he was an avid snacker as well!

Regardless, the name has stuck hard and fast.

So, we give a nod to our epicurean namesake and to snacks we say...O.K.!