In 1999 Sam Peterson was born. He was the smallest of his Labrador retriever litter. Like so many small packages, he grew to be the largest. "All the more to train!" I thought. What was the incentive? No matter the training treats he always wanted our goodies, especially our homemade chocolate chip cookies. But Sam couldn't have them as chocolate is toxic to dogs. Unable to share our cookies, my husband (a former soux chef) and I, with the advice and guidelines from our vet created our own dog friendly version of our favorite cookie using carob instead of chocolate. Healthy, tasty, and good for all of us! Treats we could share! Although Sam was satisfied with just the CarobChip snacks, we needed variety. We then created CranOat, GarlicCheese, and Virginia BBQ. Too much for our family, I took them to work to share with co-workers. While eating them during a meeting, it was decided I should sell them and continue the sharing! I started peddling Sam's tasty treats at our local city market on Saturdays. Customers came to find us the next week bringing stories of the incredible power they seemed to immediately posses over their four legged friends with their new Sammy Snacks.
Then we needed more room and help. Help was my first concern. At Sammy Snacks it is our goal not to just make decisions, but to make choices with positive impacts. We were becoming employers. This was a huge step in what was our "little" company. So I asked myself, who needed more than just a job? Who needed to be in the work force? Who could we share our dreams with? I found Mary Bridle, the Vocational Director at Virginia NeuroCare. VaNC is a non-profit organization providing rehabilitation to individuals with brain injury, stroke, anoxia, brain cancer and other neurological diseases. Currently over 70% of our staff has participated in the VaNC center. With this partnership we are able to share our dreams and successes, making a real difference in both the lives of those at Sammy Snacks and those we serve.
Out of the house and in a larger space, we can now share our library we've created along with our notes, findings, resources, and our partners. We have partnered with Service Dogs of Virginia, a non-profit organization that raises and trains working dogs. These dogs work to aid those who are disabled and wheel chair bound. Sammy Snacks provides, and in most cases sponsors, these dogs through their training years. Sammy Snacks continues to provide a healthy balanced diet to these dogs once they are placed. Sharing the common goal of placing unwanted pets to loving homes, we partner with Caring for Creatures (a non-profit sanctuary), Animal Connections, Charlottesville SPCA, and the Fluvanna SPCA. We're also the exclusive provider of snacks for All Things Pawssible, a training center and daycare for dogs.
We are proud to share with you all that we are and all that we aspire to be. Since we started, our family has grown to include not only Sam but our wonderful rescue, Avery (a beautiful yellow Labrador). As our family has grown, so has our company.
But even as the company and the family grows, I remain true to my original endeavor-to provide quality with integrity. It's that simple desire that defines and drives Sammy Snacks. And it's that desire that lies behind our success.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I wish you and your pet all the best.