Last Friday, Chris Miller of hive to home honey company BeeKing’s and John Tebb of Tacoma Firelogs walked into their local Walmart with the hope of securing a slot at the company’s sixth annual Open Call.
Walmart’s Open Call is an event during which hundreds of entrepreneurs get the opportunity to pitch their domestically manufactured goods to Walmart buyers for a chance to be picked up by the grocery and retail giant. What the two didn’t know, was that they had already been selected to proceed to the Open Call scheduled for June 18 and 19 in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Both entrepreneurs said they are eager to get the chance to showcase their brands with the possibility of their respective products ending up on store shelves and on walmart.com.
“We’d be honored to be part of the Walmart family and their move toward locally made, American products,” John Tebb, vice president of Fred Tebb & Sons, Inc., the parent brand behind Tacoma Firelogs, said in a statement. “We know our sustainably made, clean-burning fire logs would be a great fit for Walmart and we’re appreciative of the opportunity to meet with the buyers next month.”
“The farm campus we are a part of is operated by an organization that provides jobs and daycare both on-site and off-site for single mothers in our community,” Chris Miller, owner of Puyallup-based BeeKing’s said in a statement. “Being on Walmart shelves means that we can continue to evolve and grow, driving our mission to support women and create natural, sustainable products.”
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Wowza! What an extraordinary day we had. BeeKings was invited to present our body care line (and some new products) to @walmart. After the pitch they surprised me with an invitation to pitch again at the #WalmartOpenCall National Program in Arkansas. I am honored to rep the Northwest region on a National scale. #InvestInAmerica #AmericanJobs #SmallBusinessBigImpact #GrowingOpportunities Watch for more local news stories about this soon.
Later, Miller took to Instagram to share the news with BeeKing’s followers. The post included photos of the pitch presentation and a message from Miller. “Wowza! What an extraordinary day we had,” he wrote. “BeeKing’s was invited to present our body care line (and some new products) to @walmart. After the pitch they surprised me with an invitation to pitch again at the #WalmartOpenCall National Program in Arkansas. I am honored to rep the Northwest region on a national scale.”
Attendees at this year’s Open Call could secure on-the-spot or delayed deals ranging from a handful of regional stores, to supplying hundreds or even thousands of stores, Sam’s Club locations, and walmart.com.