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

Island Health announces addition of 38 beds for seniors care in the Comox Valley

17 beds at Comox Valley hospital; 21 beds at St. Joe’s

VIDEO: North Island Hospital heliport flight testing

Island Health, in conjunction with Helijet, tested the heliports Tuesday as part… Continue reading

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Change of command at HMCS Quadra

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt.-Col.) Allan Dengis assumed command of HMCS Quadra in a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Comox resident refuses to turn his back on his Nicaraguan community

Sean MacKinnon and his partner are hoping to raise funds through a beer and yoga fundraiser Friday

Trade tokens a new form of currency on Hornby Island

Jim Bulmer hopes his tokens will turn a profit for the community

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

Most Read