BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Coloring with crayons can now be a fun and tasty treat – the first colorable chocolate crayon is now on the market.
7News spoke with a veteran who served in the Marine Corps and turned a joke among other marines into a reality.
Frank Manteau grew up in Flushing, Ohio and joined the U.S. Marine Corps right after he graduated high school.
He has travelled all over the country and the world.
He says he loved being part of the military and giving back to his country that has given him many opportunities and freedoms – but like many veterans, Manteau has been through stressful situations.
He feels one of the best ways military members deal with different situations is through humor.
“So, humor has been a big thing. And within the branches we create nicknames for other branches. Kind of started about 2012 and it really took off about 2015 to 2016. They started calling us Marines ‘crayon eaters’”.FRANK MANTEAU | CO-FOUNDER/CEO, MILTreats, Inc.
Marines often perpetuate this joke by eating actual crayons at Marine Corps Balls, graduations and ceremonies.
One night, Manteau was working on a project for one of his children who was a part of their high school’s color guard team.
In the process of working, he was using a variety of crayons when he put one in his mouth and started “gnawing” on it.
After three months of researching and with help from others, Manteau created the first colorable, chocolate crayon.
“It’s that camaraderie. It’s also the goal of our company to bring historical facts. Whether it be a joke or whether it be an actual item from the military into the trade industry. So, people can enjoy it and learn about the history behind it.”FRANK MANTEAU | CO-FOUNDER/CEO, MILTreats, Inc.
“Crayons Ready to Eat” (also known as CRE) was launched in 2018 but faced many trials amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manteau did not give up on his idea and ended up receiving a $10,000 grant from the non-profit organization Warriors Rising.
According to the Warrior Rising’s website, “Warrior Rising empowers U.S. military veterans and their immediate family members by providing them opportunities to create sustainable businesses, perpetuate the hiring of fellow American veterans, and earn their future.”
By 2022, CRE teamed up with an outsourced manufacturing company to distribute its FDA approved product nationwide.
Each crayon is made of high-quality Belgium Chocolate with six different colors to represent each branch of the miliary.
Manteau made the crayons in a triangular shape with sharp points on each end so that parents could explain to their children that the triangle crayons are good to eat, but the round ones are not.
These colorable chocolate crayons cannot be shipped in the summer months since the chocolate has a lower melting point.
“Pre-orders are going on right now. And on your first order, if you use ‘CRAYONEATER10’ as a code, you get 10% off. We will ship our product on October 1st of this year.”FRANK MANTEAU | CO-FOUNDER/CEO, MILTreats, Inc.
Manteau says he hopes to expand his business “MILTreats” to start selling other treats based on military products within the next year.
Every product by MILTreats, Inc. is made and manufactured in the U.S.A, and the only thing imported is the high-quality Belgium chocolate.
Every product sold including the stickers, decals and t-shirt designs were created with the help of veterans or people who have a close relationship with veterans.
Military, teachers and first responders can enjoy 15% off their orders by using their GOVX account.
Since launching, MILTreats has sold more than 7,000 units, landed upcoming contracts with Grunt Style and Black Rifle Coffee Company and grossed a total of $75,000 in sales last year.
To order yourself some colorable chocolate crayons or find out more information, you can visit the Crayons Ready to Eat website.