ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A collaboration between Dion’s and a local nonprofit for formerly incarcerated parents resulted in an unexpected success.
Dion’s spokeswoman Deena Crawley said the company partnered with Fathers Building Futures to create a run of handmade pizza boards to sell in Dion’s online merch shop after the local pizza chain received numerous requests to sell a similar product. Just hours after sales launched Thursday morning, the boards were nearly sold out.
“We knew about the woodshop at Fathers Building Futures and so we approached them and said ‘hey, would you like to collaborate with us on this,'” Crawley said.
She said the company originally had 50 pizza boards made, but another order will be available online next week.
The pizza boards are made with walnut, African mahogany, white maple, cherry, red oak, cedar and poplar.
“The craftsmanship of the boards is impressive,” Dion’s CEO Mark Herman said in a statement. “When customers buy them, they not only get a beautiful and fun piece of kitchenware, they also support dads working to better their lives.”
All of the proceeds from the boards will go back to Fathers Building Futures and will help fund programming offered by the nonprofit.
Fathers Building Futures is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 that helps families overcome barriers resulting from incarceration and works with previously incarcerated parents to provide job training, parenting skills, financial literacy, job placement and mentorship.
Peter Sanchez, CEO of The Atrisco Companies, the parent company of Fathers Building Futures, said the parents behind the pizza boards were “blown away” by the response.
“We just didn’t expect the demand to be so high,” he said.
Sanchez said he hopes the partnership will lead to other collaborations with local companies as well as helping elevate the nonprofit’s visibility so the organization can expand.
“We’re very grateful to Dion’s because it gives our clients an opportunity to learn a trade, and learn how to develop into good employees, great employees,” he said.
He said that the nonprofit enrolls around 30 to 50 people in its program each year.
Boards are sold at shop.dions.com for $35.