HANNIBAL | Best friends Angela and Paula Brown have sparked a continuing community effort to provide meals to dogs and cats at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society. OPERATION: Feed the Furballs has brought 14,259 meals to animals at the NEMOHS since the co-owners of 2 Besties Biscuits began partnering with the shelter and local businesses in 2017.
The friends had baked cookies for friends and family for more than three decades before their shared love of dogs prompted them to develop the all-natural, homemade dog biscuit recipe they perfected in September 2016. Angela and Paula Brown were devoted from the outset to helping animals at the NEMOHS through their business, donating 20% of the proceeds from each sale to the NEMOHS. The outreach ramps up each January with the growing OPERATION: Feed the Furballs event. Local businesses sell pink boxes of 2 Besties Biscuits through April, and all of the proceeds from each purchase goes toward providing four meals for dogs and two meals for cats at the NEMOHS.
“Every meal that we can get donated to our shelter is basically money that we can use to help with other things that are needed around there for the animals, such as medicine, treats, just the well-being of the animals themselves and day-to-day operations,” Blue said. “And if we don't have to spend the money on the food that's being generously donated by 2 Besties, it just makes our lives a lot easier.”
The Browns shared their joy in seeing their endeavors blossom with the support of local businesses and the customers who have been purchasing biscuits for their “furbabies.” Sunrise Transport is donating 10% for every pink box sold to provide meals for cats, and six local businesses have the pink boxes for sale: Java Jive, Hannibal Chiropractic and Wellness, Chocolaterie Stam, Mark Twain Dinette, Finn's Food and Spirits and Ole Planters Restaurant.
“It's really amazing how the community comes together to help our animals,” Blue said. “They think they're buying a box of biscuits — they don't really realize the impact that that one box makes — but when Ang and Paula put the pictures up of what that one box can do, it puts into perspective how much the community is actually helping the shelter.”
Angela Brown said all of the businesses she and Paula Brown reached out to said yes, and local support has been crucial.
“The six businesses that allow us to sell biscuits from January to April and the people that purchase biscuits are the only reason we are able to feed the animals,” Brown said. “It's them. All them. This journey brings us joy.”
At Finn's Food and Spirits, Co-Owner Jill Otten was beaming with the news that her family had just adopted their dog, Princess Leia, from the NEMOHS. Otten's daughter, Hannah, held up one of the pink boxes of biscuits while Leia sat contentedly next to her. Jill Otten said local customers aren't the only people who support the cause — tourists regularly stop by so their dogs can enjoy a treat on the patio. Otten said the team at Finn's enjoys the chance to make this type of impact.
“We like to give back to the community in general,” Otten said, adding that they enjoy the chance to “give back to animals and humans” in the area.
Angela Brown and Paula Brown shared their gratitude for the level of support they've witnessed throughout Hannibal.
“Never would Paula or I have imagined that this small business or this community giving project would be received the way they have been. We are so fortunate to have grown up and live in a community where the humans are so giving and supportive,” Angela Brown said. “When we opened 2 Besties we hoped for the best. Same with OPERATION: Feed the Furballs. Our hope of helping the Northeast Missouri Humane Society has been fulfilled by the awesome people that have decided to buy the pink box.”
More information about OPERATION: Feed the Furballs is available by visiting the 2 Bestie Biscuits Facebook page or website at www.2bestiesbiscuits.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.