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Give A Dog A Bone

Amy Noltemeyer was searching for something her son with autism could do for employment. “It wasn’t as much about being paid as it is about the quality of life. Everyone needs a social circle,” Noltemeyer shares.  

 

That’s how she became the founding board member of Growlers Dog Bones.  

Growlers Dog Bones was created to provide meaningful, supported employment to adults with disabilities. They seek to improve the participants’ quality of life, enhance their life and vocational skills, as well as increase the opportunity to be socially engaged.   

 

Noltemeyer explains how, “producing  dog bones isn’t a novel idea for special educators and dog lovers.” But collaborating with the microbreweries to use the leftover spent grain – a wet barley byproduct of the brewing process, and other local ingredients to create an all-natural product – fulfills a local niche.

 

 

She adds, “what better circle to be involved with than the creation of items from microbreweries, selling at farmers markets and events, and selling to dog-lovers; all are people that celebrate community.” 

 

Growlers started with a workforce development program in July 2016, partnering with Food for Good Thought – a supported employment agency who employs individuals with disabilities. They partnered with them again this year, along with ADD and Columbus City Schools. 

 

Growlers, whose governing board is comprised of educators with over 60 years combined in education, saw the need for meaningful opportunity for transition work and training.

 

Noltemeyer emphasizes that, “it’s important for people to understand we’re making dog bones. But more importantly, we’re creating opportunities for our individuals.” 

 

Their dog bones are made with local ingredients and by local bakers and bakery (FOOD FORT: a division of  ECDI) from a by-product of the brewing process. 

 

Their bakers, along with supported employment partners handcraft the dog bones at the Food Fort. They then package and ultimately distribute through breweries, festivals, events, and other retail establishments.

 

You can find Growlers Dog Bones at the taprooms of most of their partner breweries. Like The Ohio  Taproom, Global Gallery, Hills Market, Pathways to Independence, and several other new retail stores yet to be named. 

 

They’ve also been accepted and are participating in Columbus’s SEA Change 2017: a business accelerator program. You can also catch them at the Worthington, Grove City, Bexley, and Easton  Farmers Markets. Plus they’ll be participating in the upcoming Fetch a Friend on June 10 & 11th, Wag Fest, and the Festival of Good at the North Market (previously the microbrewery festival) the last weekend in September.

 

You can learn more about Growlers Dog Bones by visiting them online at www.growlersdogbones.org.
And be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram: @growlersdogbones

 

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