Like any good entrepreneur, Adam Jeannotte knows his product inside and out.
His all natural, homemade dog cookies are crafted with whole wheat flour, pumpkin, banana, cinnamon, eggs, bacon and coconut oil.
“They’re very healthy and they’re delicious,” the Grade 7 Langley Fundamental student beamed, while pointing to his explanatory poster.
Created for the Langley School District’s IDEA Summit (with the help of his mom, of course), Adam, who also has autism, had to research his product, create a business plan, and donate a portion of sales to his chosen charity, LAPS.
But when he failed to sell as many cookies as he hoped to at the summit, Adam started thinking outside of the box.
With the help of his SEA, Tanya Biddle, the two contacted local pet food store Pet Fude in Brookswood with the hopes of setting up a partnership.
Owner Annette Waterman was more than happy to help.
And so last Saturday, Adam set up his booth outside her store, and sold more than $100 in treats — profit he proudly donated to LAPS today (May 17).
“I decided to make dog treats because I really love animals and because I do not want them to suffer,” said Adam, who doesn’t own a dog himself, but chose LAPS as his charity anyway because his friend’s dog recently passed away.
“There’s so many cute dogs, cats, bunnies — I just love them. I can’t think of any other place to (donate to) than LAPS.
“It makes me feel like a true entrepreneur.”
Waterman, who worked at the pet store for 24 years before purchasing it five years ago, was blown away by Adam’s passion.
“One of my clients, who I’ve had for over 20 years, came to me and said she knew a little boy that was selling dog biscuits for charity for LAPS, and wanted to know if I wanted to help sell the rest of the dog biscuits. And I said, ‘Absolutely, no problem,’” Waterman said.
“I didn’t even notice the fact he had autism. I think he’s fantastic and a great little entrepreneur, and he sat out here and sold his heart out. So, he did a fantastic job, didn’t need my help.”
Biddle said Adam has overcome some big challenges over the last year, and is very proud of his success.
“I think just empowering Adam to take his project and take it really outside the box and then connecting with community — that was the biggest thing,” she said. “And then empowering Adam, making him feel successful.”
“She’s always made me feel good, she’s always helped me in tricky situations,” Adam added.
“It was wonderful, it was an excellent experience for myself and for Adam, and just showing him how to donate, taking it a step further,” Biddle said.