ROUSES POINT - When you want to send someone near and dear to you something from the heart, it's easy to think of the usual gifts - flowers, chocolates, cute stuffed animals. But, when you want to send something to someone who's caused you frustration, the market for that kind of gift has been rather limited. Until now.
Arthur Penfield Tremblay has created a business that will provide a unique novelty item he feels will fill the niche that traditional greeting card companies and stuffed animal manufacturers have overlooked - satisfying frustration.
"I was thinking there are a lot of people who kind of need a way to vent that's nonviolent," Tremblay said. "So, I came up with the idea of sending somebody roadkill as kind of a fun way of expressing your displeasure."
Through his new business, Adirondack Road Pizza, Tremblay is creating synthetic flattened stuffed animals - skunks, woodchucks, possums and squirrels - that will be delivered via FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service in - what else? - pizza boxes.
"They are kind of cute," said Tremblay, noting the animals come designed with tire tracks across their backs and pink tongues hanging out. "It's really zany."
Adirondack Road Pizza is not only a new business, but a new venture for Tremblay in general, who is an established artist and designer of churches by trade.
"It's part enthralling and part frightening," Tremblay said, laughing. "It's a big challenge. It's entirely different from what I normally do. Becoming an entrepreneur and a manufacturer is quite a shift."
The business is an idea that has been gestating for about 18 years, said Tremblay, but only really taken shape in the last 18 months.
The process involved deciding how to develop and market the product, which Tremblay said will be sold mainly via the Internet.
"It's something that's an impulse buy," he said.
Getting Adirondack Road Pizza off the ground has also involved figuring out how the critters would be manufactured. Keeping in mind a theme of "being local," Tremblay decided the creations would be stuffed with balsam to give them an Adirondack scent. He also wanted to choose local suppliers like Lakeside Container in Plattsburgh - which will provide the pizza boxes - and hire local labor to perform the work.
"I'm using all local labor - 30 stitchers, about five to 10 packers and stuffers. One of the driving forces to bring into existence is to give people jobs," said Tremblay. "The idea is to get people in rural areas, especially, employed when there isn't employment ... Everybody around here needs work."
The workers will also be able to assemble the creations at home before bringing them to a central shipping facility that will be based in the Northern Tier. Each order - at a cost of $39.95 plus shipping - will be delivered via two-day shipping and bear a personal message from the sender.
The venture is already gaining national attention, said Tremblay, which is expected to debut on a nationally-televised late night talk show and in other national and local media.
Want to place an order?
Adirondack Road Pizza is expected to launch in the next two weeks, with its Web site, www.adirondackroadpizza.com going live at that time.
Those interested in placing orders or learning more may send an e-mail to Tremblay at email@example.com.