This holiday season has been pretty swell for The Arc, the Boise-based nonprofit that has assisted thousands of disabled adults since 1956.
"It has been awesome," said Nicole Lang, who has worked at The Arc for 14 years, the past five as its director of programs. "B'Arc Bones have really taken off this season. We sold 50 bags at one location in a single day."
The Arc has been making B'arc Bones, peanut butter-flavored dog biscuits retailing for $5.99 a bag, for six years. But a recent upgrade to the facility's kitchen and positive word-of-mouth have made the treats 2012's new passion for pet owners.
The biscuits, made of wheat flour and plenty of peanut butter, have even been human-tested.
"That's true. The University of Idaho suggested that we test them for freshness," Lang said with a laugh.
To bake and package B'arc Bones, The Arc employs approximately 30 men and women with disabilities, who earn up to $10.84 an hour.
B'arc Bones are sold at The Arc, Idaho Humane Society, Pups Parlor and Bark n Purr Pet Supplies in Boise, Flying M in Boise and Nampa, and H3 Pet Foods in Meridian.
"And we're pretty excited because we've just begun talking to Zamzows about a possible deal," said Lang.
More importantly, Lang said B'arc Bones may take The Arc to a new operational level.
"We look at B'arc Bones as a prototype for a bigger retail business," she said. "We'd love to turn our worksite into a retail and distribution center, and we're going to start by getting more B'arc Bones out to the world."