Peterborough's Brooke Hammer, founder and CEO of Chimp Treats, has taken the drive and passion of her two startup businesses to hold a job fair through a partnership with Community Living—providing three employment opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The 22-year-old entrepreneur began her entrepreneurial journey after founding Take Flight, a business inspired when her brother with Down Syndrome faced community barriers trying to find meaningful work. Hammer started the organization to help those with developmental disabilities find independence, social interaction, purpose, and meaningful employment through day programs and services.
“I wanted my brother to be able to experience the joy, satisfaction and pride that comes with meaningful work and belonging to a community,” says Hammer.
Brooke Hammer Founded Taking Flight
Now working at the rapidly-growing Chimp Treats, an innovative health food company selling the popular “Nicecream” frozen dessert made entirely from fruit, Hammer is supporting a healthy lifestyle in her second startup.
Starting out the business solo, Hammer has now added two full-time employees to her business. Still needing to hire more, Hammer saw an opportunity to take her passion from her previous business and hold a job fair through the Community Living partnership.
Hammer and her Chimp Treats team are growing
“During my first meeting, I could barely contain my enthusiasm learning about this locally owned company Chimp Treats,” says Jen Edwards at Community Living Peterborough. “Normally companies aren’t knocking on Community Living’s door asking for people to come work for them with the offer of meaningful work that is competitively paid. After touring the factory and visiting their office at the Innovation Cluster, it is very apparent this company is offering a rewarding job.”
The job fair will be held at the Innovation Cluster, where Chimp Treats is based, on July 20th, offering a full-time inclusive employment opportunity to work with the Chimp Treats team. The three chosen hires will be trained personally by the CEO Hammer herself at their manufacturing location, and get to be part of the startup team promoting healthy lifestyles.
“I’m pleased to see communities becoming more aware of employment gaps, underemployment, and the need for inclusive opportunities for individuals with special needs,” says Hammer. “No person is the exact same, but the opportunities available to us should be.”