Our Story

The History of Spaans Cookie Company

Spaans’ history in the bakery business dates to 1896 when our great-grandfather, Peter Spaans, became an apprentice baker in Holland. He came to America with his wife in 1912 and settled in Kansas. He tried wheat farming but soon returned to his trade as a baker after he learned American measurements and pastry preferences. He opened his first bakery in Muir, Michigan. By 1922 he was running a bakery route in the country, selling bread for seven cents a loaf. Three of his five children became bakers.

After learning the bakery trade from his father, first born William, our grandfather, married Anna, our grandmother, and opened a bakery in 1935, the Spaans Dutch Bakery in Muskegon, Michigan. They featured donuts and pastries and even made potato chips for a time. They were a team, Bill baking goods and Anna waiting on customers at the counter.

The Tough Get Going...

In the early 1940’s, William and his brother Peter, became partners in Spaans Brothers Baking Company. They built a thriving business serving defense shop cafeterias and local grocery stores with donuts for 24 cents a dozen. Since sugar and shortening were rationed to the general public, the bakery business boomed, and one Mother’s Day they decorated over 140 cakes. By 1946, rationing was lifted, and their business dropped when defense cafeterias closed and homemakers started baking again. “What saved us,” our grandfather remembers, “was that we always owned our own property. If you can rent, you can buy! When business dropped, we sacrificed a lot of our equipment and sold part of the property.”

Hardwork, Sunshine & Opportunity

William and his family moved to sunny California where they opened and ran a bakery in Modesto from 1948-1958. They wanted to live in a smaller town so they moved thirty miles south of Sacramento to Galt in 1958. (population 1,200)

In Galt, our grandfather wanted a large production bakery business with quality products and good values. He advertised “Drive A Little, Save A Lot” and packaged products sold 5 for $1.00. New equipment helped produce a larger volume of cookies and they established distribution to grocery stores and bakeries throughout Northern California.

All six of Bill and Anna’s children were raised working in the bakery. After school and Saturday jobs included washing pans, sweeping floors, packaging cookies and rolls and waiting on customers. They didn’t always want to work, but at an early age were instilled with a responsibility to the family business and a strong work ethic. Their parents also emphasized education and to be satisfied with what they had and share it with others.


Jim Spaans, our father, returned to the bakery business in 1969 after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Humboldt State University in California. Jim and his wife, Sharon, along with their children are now the sole owners of Spaans Cookie Co., Inc. All three of Jims’ children, Darren, Melissa and Rick have worked in the family business. Currently, Jim, Melissa, Rick and Jim’s son-in-law, Loren Thompson, run the day-to-day operations. 

Spaans Cookie Company Today

Presently, Spaans Cookie Co. produces over 50 varieties of cookies and can produce a million cookies a day.
Over 100 years after Peter Spaans learned the art of baking cookies in Holland, his great-grandchildren are still baking them, some with his original recipes.
Great-grandpa said, “Use the best ingredients and give people their money’s worth.” Good advice over 100 years ago, and we still go by it today


Our Mission

Provide a high quality and recognizable product for a fair cost to our valued customers. Continue to innovate and grow the business, while maintaining the long heritage of the Spaans family name. Accomplish these goals while remaining a pillar of the community and treating employees with respect.

Spaans Vision