Social enterprise receives funding boost

Pet Treat Bakery in Courtenay received $15,000 in grants from TELUS and the Vancity Community Foundation.

Susan Bunn

Too much business.

Such is the “problem” faced by Pet Treat Bakery in Courtenay, which received $15,000 in grants from TELUS and the Vancity Community Foundation at a recent event.

The Beaufort Association-owned bakery operates as a social enterprise business, employing adults with developmental disabilities. It supplies numerous Vancouver Island retailers and vet clinics with an assortment of pet treats: pig ears, duck feet, dehydrated beef, pork and bison liver, chicken breast, and a range of baked ‘cookie’ treats.

“I think we got into the right product at the right place at the right time,” Beaufort’s executive director Susan Bunn said, noting steady growth in the pet food industry in recent years.

According to 2011 figures, there are more than 28 million pets in Canada.

“We have customers on our wait list,” she said.

The association undertook the Community Living British Columbia 10×10 challenge to increase employment for developmentally disabled adults by 10 per cent in 2010. For its efforts, the bakery was nominated for a CLBC W.O.W. (Widening Our World) award.

The bakery started with four employees in January, 2010. Since then, sales have increased 130 per cent and the workforce has grown to 18, 11 of whom work in a dehydration plant.

One of the workers, Roberta Williams, likes the perk of “having money on the weekends.”

Bunn was brought to tears when the $15,000 was announced at the sixth annual Social Enterprise Heroes event hosted by Enterprising Non-profits April 16 in Vancouver. It was more money than Beaufort had requested. The funds could enable the bakery to purchase at least two new dehydrators, which would help increase capacity by 50 per cent and hire eight new employees.

Just Posted

Highland Secondary student wins Horatio Alger scholarship

Jenna Leggett grew up on Read Island where there was no electricity and no roads to her home

Next Science Pub explores sex, evolution and nature’s strangest dating scenes

The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) is presenting the next event in… Continue reading

Sprinkler system bursts at Florence Filberg Centre

Witnesses say water was pouring down from the building’s deck

Best of World Community Film Fest screens Tuesday

The votes are in from the recent World Community Film Festival and… Continue reading

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read