Jonathan Canter, a dad and licensed attorney, teamed up with his best friend to create Dear Mom Wine Co., a company that makes canned wine, sourced from Oregon vineyards. We chatted up Jonathan and learned more about the inspiration behind Dear Mom, the philanthropic element of his business, and the one word he chose to sum up parenting.
Congratulations on making the cutest cans of wine ever! How did the idea of Dear Mom emerge?
My business partner Robert and I have been best friends since high school and have always talked about owning a business. We both went to separate law schools but had zero interest in practicing law, and when we graduated we both ended up in the beverage business. Robert lives in Portland, Oreogn and during a visit to NYC we visited a store and saw a canned wine on the shelf. After reading up on the growing trend of canned wine and realizing that there was a great opportunity there, we set out to start this business.
What’s the inspiration behind your brand’s name?
Both Robert and I come from families where our mothers were the breadwinners, so we wanted a name that would honor them, and honor all the other moms and women out there who work their tails off both professionally and personally. While thinking of names, the song “Dear Mama” by Tupac came on and we worked the final name from there. We also figured that men wouldn’t be precluded from drinking our product, as the most stereotypical masculine tattoo is a heart with the word “mom” within it.
Charitable giving is part of your company’s mission. Tell us about the inspiration behind your commitment to philanthropy.
We figured that if we’re going to build a quality product in a fun, whimsical package, then we should try to set ourselves apart from other companies by giving back. We wanted to include a social message with Dear Mom, which is why we refer to our brand as “wine with a mission.’
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
That’s an easy one— diaper changing.
What is your best parenting hack?
I’m not sure if this is a hack, but I try to teach my kids to respect everybody no matter what their color, age or occupation. We always use the phrase, “Be nice to people, and people will be nice to you.”
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
That Maggie the tooth fairy is best friends with my daughter’s best friend’s tooth fairy, Toothina.
If you could describe fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your parenting journey that has made you proud?
Cheesy as it may sound, I can’t pinpoint one moment. Literally every day there’s something I am proud of. But I guess it makes me extremely proud to see the way my six- and four-year-olds love and care for their little one-year-old brother.
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
Be yourself at all times.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other parents?
Don’t seek out advice from others on how to raise your kids. Do what works for you and go with it.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
Since I’m lucky enough not to have a conventional nine-to-five job, I get to do drop-offs and pickups rather than commutes to and from an office. These walks with my kids are hands down my favorite part of the day, and they allow for a blending of both work and family life on a daily basis.
What was the last book you read?
Father First by Dwyane Wade
Hot wings and bleu cheese
Favorite Form of Exercise:
What is on your DVR?
Vanderpump Rules, John Oliver, Atlanta.
Favorite Kids Store: