Scenic Route

All the Fixin's

What: No-fuss sandwich spread
Who: John Codilis of PJ Squares LLC
Where: Glen Ellyn, Illinois
When: Started in 2000

Nothing's worse than opening a jar of peanut butter, only to find it corrupted by globs of jelly inside--as parents with kids who like to make their own sandwiches know.

Although it may not be the end of the world, it's certainly not appetizing. Here to solve that problem is John Codilis, who spent nearly five years perfecting his PJ Squares: individually wrapped peanut butter and jelly slices that can be eaten alone or with bread.

Although Codilis, 47, is the one who launched a business to develop and market the grape- and strawberry-flavored squares, the idea came from someone else: an inventor (who is now Codilis' silent partner) in a nearby town bent on making the lunch-making process easier--and less messy--for his kids. Once the inventor presented his concept, Codilis knew he wanted to be a part of it.

These days, shoppers in the Midwest can purchase PJ Squares in their local grocery stores as well as at Wal-Mart. Nationwide availability is expected by August.

Although kids are PJ Squares' main target market, Codilis enjoys hearing all the new ways that other people--namely adults--are finding to use the product. "One gentleman said he uses them in brownies," Codilis says. "We tried it, and they're pretty good."

Contact Sources

MAD Maps Inc.
(877) MAD-7899, www.madmaps.com

PJ Squares LLC
630-790-4802, jcodilis@pjsquares.com

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This article was originally published in the March 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Scenic Route.

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