When Renee Cupp became pregnant with her daughter, she toyed around with a few names. For a while, Lily was the front runner, until she and her husband had the idea to name their second child after their favorite chocolate and peanut butter candy. So, eight years ago, the couple printed the name Reese Eve Cupp on their daughter’s birth certificate.
Although the correct pronunciation of the candy is “Rees-IS,” Cupp tells PEOPLE that she has always pronounced it “Rees-EES,” which is a common inflection of the popular chocolate brand, thus the addition of her daugter’s middle initial.
“Everyone calls her ‘Rees-ee,'” Cupp says. “It’s our favorite candy for sure. We have it in the house almost all the time. We have the Half Pound Big Cup in our freezer and the Reese’s spread in our pantry.”
The idea behind Reese’s name was solidified by their older daughter, Erica, who used to go around asking for Reese’s cups as a child. She admits her husband was also teased growing up for the spelling of his last name, so when choosing their daughter’s name, they just decided to “take the humor and run with it.”
So how does her daughter feel about the name? “She loves her name,” Cupp says. “She always says ‘oh, little Reese Cup. I’m a little Reese Cup.’ She loves everything chocolate.”
Cupp, who lives in Elizabethtown, NC, gained recognition for her creative name when she entered one of Reese’s social media contests promoting their new Outrageous Bars, a milk chocolate bar full of creamy peanut butter, caramel, and Reese’s pieces. Cupp posted her daughter’s photo alongside her name on Twitter in hopes to win a free box of Reese’s Outrageous Bars, without even knowing she was in the running for the grand prize of $10,000 and a year’s supply of Reese’s.
Prior to the contest, the brand identified a few Reese’s super fans and surprised them with Outrageous Reese’s experiences, including gifting one girl her dream Reese’s wedding cake. One man literally bathed in Reese’s, so they created a Reese’s Oasis in his backyard, complete with a swimming pool full of their candy. Then, a man created a custom fridge that dispensed Reese’s Miniatures from its ice maker, so they replicated his invention and placed one in the town shopping center.
And Cupp isn’t the only person who’s named a child in relation to their love of the chocolate-peanut-butter sensation. Shannon Dorchak’s entry featured her newborn daughter, Reese, laying on a pile of Reese’s candy.
“That’s my favorite picture of her,” Dorchak tells PEOPLE. “That was the day we brought her home.”
The nurse in Michigan says she’s been “obsessed” with Reese’s for as long as she can remember, and it’s a running joke in her family to always gift her Reese’s memorabilia. She owns Reese’s-themed notebooks, planners, and coffee cups, and her mom always fills her stocking or Easter basket with the candy.
“My husband has loved the name Reese forever, and I was like ‘everyone is going to think that we named her that because I am obsessed with candy,” Dorchak says. “Sure enough, the candy started pouring in. Now everyone calls her Reese’s Pieces or Reese Cup or little nicknames like that.”