Pet treats business venture owner hopes to hire people with disabilities

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Bradley Lewis started Bradley's K9 Munchies in hopes to give jobs to people with disabilities. Lewis with his taste tester Snuggles.

Kavinda Herath/Stuff

Bradley Lewis started Bradley’s K9 Munchies in hopes to give jobs to people with disabilities. Lewis with his taste tester Snuggles.

Snuggles the dog thinks his pal Bradley is about to launch the best business ever.

Bradley Lewis, 25, is launching Bradley’s K9 Munchies Tuesday night and his dog Snuggles has become the official taste tester of the treats.

Bradley has Down’s Syndrome and because of health issues he was unable to continue his volunteer job with Koha Kai last year.

That made him fall into a deep depression, so his mum, Sarita Lewis, reached out to AccessAbility for help.

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AccessAbility local area co-ordinator Jenny Hogg met the Lewis family and began brainstorming ideas of what Bradley could do.

“It was really just about finding something that gave him a role and a purpose,” Hogg said.

Bradley’s love for cooking made everyone realise launching a dog treats business could be a good idea, Sarita said.

You also do not need a registered kitchen to make dog treats, Hogg said.

Bradley Lewis has started a dog treat business, that hopes to employ people with Downs Syndrome like himself

Kavinda Herath/Stuff

Bradley Lewis has started a dog treat business, that hopes to employ people with Downs Syndrome like himself

The process begun two months ago and the business is ready to have other dogs try its treats besides Snuggles.

Having grown up with a disability, Bradley’s main hope for the business is to be able to hire others with disabilities – because he knows how tough it can be to find employment, Sarita said.

Hogg helped Bradley apply for the Manawanui Fund for Good programme in hopes to receive funding to start up K9 Munchies.

The Manawanui Fund for Good programme awards grants to support ideas that struggle to get individualised funding or sponsorship. Out of 144 applicants, five were awarded grants.

Bradley received a grant of $2500 and was the only applicant from the South Island to receive one.

Bradley is currently training at Southland disABILITY Enterprises to learn new skills to apply for future jobs, however he hopes his new venture will take off, Sarita said.

Snuggles will be with the Lewis family in his custom-made tuxedo for Bradley’s K9 Munchies launch party at COIN South on Tuesday night.

A dollar from each packet sold will go to Furever Homes, a charity that helps abandon animals.


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