No Bones About It Dog Treats
Dog Treats Made by Young People on the Autism Spectrum
A neighbor of mine, Ella, is enrolled in a work readiness program designed to help teens and young adults on the autism spectrum and with developmental differences learn real world job skills. Ella and her fellow students are learning to be bakers.
And what are they learning to bake?
These No Bones About It Dog Biscuits are all-natural, low fat, high fiber, gluten and wheat free dog treats. They’re made with sweet potato, which means they’re great for dogs’ digestion (any regular reader of Urban Dog knows sweet potato is our “go to” prescription for minor stomach problems for Bodhi.) They also have parsley and dill in them, which will freshen your pooch’s breath after each bite.
I was very lucky when Ella’s mom invited me to visit the kitchen one afternoon. Watching these kids and young adults in action made me realize it’s not the ingredients that make these treats special, it’s all the hard work and love these up-and-coming bakers pour into each batch of biscuits!
The baking program is run by an organization called Invictus. “Invictus” is the Latin word for “unconquerable” or “undefeated.” Founded by television executive Molly Sebastian and educator and autism expert Alison Berkley, the New York City-based organization is dedicated to helping young people on the spectrum find fulfilling careers.
“We believe that adults with autism can succeed in demanding jobs given the right kind of training and technological tools. We find viable, profitable businesses that have a process that can be broken down into steps, craft artful modifications, teach, train and empower independence within our own, curated workplace.”
Baking is the perfect fit for their mission statement because the process of baking can be easily broken down into steps.
Molly says ultimately they’d like to have their own bakery: “Yes! the goal is our own bakery: a training and work center. We have started the search for a cool bakery space where we can train and grow and produce product – our own and co-pack for others.”
Molly adds that a bakery would also be an environment for bakers who might be left out or find it difficult to integrate into more traditional workplaces for one reason or another. A bakery of their own would be a space where the bakers would be “accepted, included, valued, and enabled to be productive.”
Each treat is handcrafted by the bakers. Then they’re popped in the oven.
And then they’re packaged for sale. Here’s a link to see Invictus salesman extraordinaire, Oscar, in action.
Invictus Enterprises is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To learn more, go here.
All profits from sales of the treats go toward job training and employment.
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, what better gift for the dog or dog lover in your life?
I know what Bodhi wants in HIS stocking!
What a delightful story! This sounds like a great org that loves people and dogs…I want more!
Love this! Our neighbor Eric is one of the Invictus bakers. I’m going to buy a bunch for doggie Christmas presents. Thank you for doing this!