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Beer City Dog Biscuits helping adults with disabilities learn valuable life skills

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Posted at 5:18 AM, Sep 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-04 11:07:06-04

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WXYZ) — Beer City Dog Biscuits is a non-profit company located in Grand Rapids, MI, with retailers in the Detroit area and shipping nation-wide, dedicated to crafting delicious and nutritious dog treats.

The company's core mission is to empower the disabled through the creation of its dog biscuits. Each treat is hand-made and packaged with care of their adult employees called Brew Bakers, a team of disabled adults who are the core of the company’s culture and business process. At BCDB, each Brew Baker develops valuable skills throughout every step of the biscuit baking process, from mixing dough to packaging biscuits.

In 2018, Tad and Suzanne Wilcox and David and Leslie Hooker formed a nonprofit 501(c)3 on behalf of their adult sons, both of whom have disabilities. A vibrant living community for those with development disabilities is the long-term vision of this nonprofit. The immediate need is to provide them with an opportunity to be productive every day. Beer City Dog Biscuits business is tailored to meet the unique abilities of each volunteer and employee to enable them to participate in all aspects of the business. They will be planning/forecasting demand, assembling, baking, labeling and weighing bags, packing, and processing orders. Additionally, employees will be identifying sales opportunities, calculating costs, counting cash and credit sales and making bank deposits. Leadership volunteers assist and guide in the process; each stage is intentionally created to support project-based learning and work skill development that enables employees to learn valuable life skills.

The co-founders of Beer City Dog Biscuits believe all people, regardless of their abilities, enrich the community. Those with disabilities are essential; without their presence in workplaces, neighborhoods, and churches, the community is incomplete.