Fourth Annual Event Showcases American Entrepreneurship, Ingenuity
BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart is inviting more than 500 businesses from across the nation to
present their Made in the USA products June 28 to the world’s largest
retailer in Bentonville, Ark., giving entrepreneurs a unique opportunity
to potentially reach millions of Walmart customers.
Now in its fourth year, Walmart’s Open Call is one way in which the
company continues to invest in American jobs by accelerating the growth
of U.S. manufacturing. This year’s event will showcase American
entrepreneurship and celebrate ingenuity and diversity. Nearly half of
all businesses attending Open Call self-identify as diverse, including
25 percent identifying as women-owned.
“We are thrilled that entrepreneurs from across the country, including
many diverse-owned businesses, continue to respond so strongly to the
opportunity to participate in Walmart’s annual Open Call,” said Cindi
Marsiglio, Walmart vice president for U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing.
“While finding products our customers want is a year-round focus for our
buying teams, Walmart’s annual Open Call is a special opportunity to
connect our buyers with companies that are manufacturing products in the
U.S. and to identify new and unique product solutions.”
Attendees this year represent 47 states and Puerto Rico. States with
some of the largest representation include California, Florida,
Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.1
With some companies pitching multiple products, more than 750 meetings
have been scheduled with Walmart buyers representing a broad range of
From secret sauces and pocket-sized hair gel, to photographic mouse pads
and bowls designed to keep cereal crisp, this year’s diversity of new,
innovative products represent a broad range of categories such as food
and beverages, home décor and apparel. While some businesses are larger,
many are “kitchen-table” companies, vying for a chance to work with the
world’s largest retailer and earn a place on the shelf. Some of this
year’s Open Call attendees include:
Oceans 97 (Baton Rouge, LA.) – Oceans 97 has a goal of bringing
restaurant-quality shrimp and seafood to the customers of Walmart.
Founder Jarvis Green is a former New England Patriots football player
who says that if his company reaches its goal, it would be a greater
achievement than playing in three Super Bowls and winning two of them.
Micah Specialty Foods (Cleveland, OH) – Imagine starting a
company from your kitchen with just your mother’s marinade sauce
recipe from Ghana and a dream. That is exactly what Micah Specialty
Foods did. It is the company’s goal to bring more African-American
products to the shelves of Walmart through the help of Open Call.
The Blonde Italian (Cleveland, OH) – The Blonde Italian is a
woman-owned business that carries a line of seasonings to spice up the
lives of people from all walks of life. Their goal is to get the
unique blend of spices in their Garden Garlic Seasoning on the shelves
of Walmart and into the cabinets and recipes of customers.
Haven Sales & Marketing (Ontario, CA) – When two Texas A&M
college students began to jazz up soy sauce in their college dorm
room, no one thought there would be an opportunity to have their
Gourmet Orange Chili Soy Sauce sold in Walmart stores. Manufactured
and marketed by Haven Sales & Marketing, the company has already
created 70 jobs manufacturing this product and other flavored soy
Nuts & Cows (McAllen, TX) – When Elizabeth Davis
started Nuts & Cows with $84 and a dream, she never imagined that one
of her products would be considered by Walmart. Buttery Pecan Butter
is an all-natural product that is made with love in her own kitchen.
Elizabeth is passionate about her products and the idea that anyone
can follow their dream, no matter who they are.
51 Club (Spokane, WA) – It all began when one person thought
there had to be an easier way to change a flat tire. 51 Club is
bringing their product, the Spare Me 5-in-1 Rescue Tool, to Open Call
in the hopes of getting every Walmart shopper with car troubles out of
a bind. The “all purpose, all weather and all terrain” tool is
manufactured in Spokane, where the creator lives.
Mary’s Kitchen (Richmond, VA) – Some people may think that
their Sweet Potato Pie is the best, but Mary Lee truly believes
her pie takes first prize. When she was a child, people would line up
to get her mother Dorothy’s sweet potato pies; and now Mary is
bringing the same recipe to Open Call. This is a chance for her to
share her family’s tradition with Walmart shoppers.
Kid Ease (Dallas, TX) – Kid Ease was created by a mom looking
for a safe, lab-tested cleaning spray to clean up sticky little
fingers and faces. Owner Jessica Gore is excited to bring her product
to families shopping at Walmart. She hopes that she can ramp up
production and create more jobs, if she receives a deal.
Forever Fit (Minneapolis, MN) – Soggy cereal is no way to start
the day, according to Forever Fit. That’s why they created the Perfect
Cereal Bowl uniquely designed to keep cereal crisp before you get to
the bottom of the bowl. The product is manufactured in the same
Minnesota town where it originated.
Photos to Design (Woodland, CA) – Just like the phrase “pretty
as a picture,” Photos to Design has a desire to share beauty captured
through a photo. The product, Be-U-Ti-FUL, is a special mouse pad with
floral images taken by owner Janet Jones. She hopes Open Call gives
her a greater ability to share her images.
Anndori Outdoor Art (Greensboro, NC) – Have you ever tried to
create a large Christmas ball from chicken wire and stringed lights?
It’s not easy. Sandra Alexander made a simple craft solution that
creates beautiful holiday décor that won’t leave scratches from
chicken wire. She hopes that the Craft Lover’s Holiday Light Ball Kit
brings consumers joy, but that the product also allows her to create
Disaster Supply Warehouse (Fairfield, OH) – Disaster Supply is
a woman-owned business that brings two products to Open Call. The
first is a disposable utensil stand that ensures your silverware is
clean even when dining outside. The second is Buxom Betty’s Button
Stays. A product that helps prevent ladies’ shirts from gaping open
C & C Foods (Charleston, SC) – Sweet Savina Surprise is a
sauce with a little heat and a little sweet. A unique pepper
discovered on an African mission trip inspired the one-of-a-kind
recipe made with locally grown ingredients in the Charleston area. C &
C Foods hopes to bring this surprising sauce to the shelves of Walmart
through Open Call.
Pocket Gel, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) – If you have gotten caught
in the wind, rain or snow and wished you had some hair gel, Pocket Gel
believes it has the product for you. Founder Nathan Failla began
putting hair gel in foil to carry to the gym when he realized he
couldn’t be the only one with this need. He continued to refine the
packaging until he created Pocket Gel Instant Hair Gel.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save
money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online,
and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 260 million customers
and members visit our 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and
e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of
$485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates
worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about
Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com
on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart
and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
represent location where business has self-reported that their product
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Scott Markley, 800-331-0085