450 suppliers from across the country – from California to Puerto Rico to right here in Northwest Arkansas – are pitching their product to buyers from Walmart
All looking to get handed a blue ticket – which gets their dream on the shelves of the largest retailer in the world
Nervous but excited.
Each team waits for their turn.
“I’m part of Walmart,” Arkansas Popcorn Company CEO Casey Millspaugh said. “I’m from Arkansas.”
One of those entrepreneurs is Casey Millspaugh from Fort Smith.
He believes his local ties sets him apart.
“We make our popcorn at an old bread factory where the owner used to sell bread to Sam Walton,” Millspaugh said.
On the other end of the hall, Jennifer Labit walks into her meeting.
“Guys I brought a lot of products with me,” CEO of Cotton Babies Jennifer Labit said.
She owns the company Cotton Babies – out of St. Louis – which makes cloth diapers.
“We’ve been growing a business a little at a time over the past 16 years,” Labit said.
In just 30 minutes…
“Yes!” Labit said. “We got a yes! Thank you!”
But for Millspaugh, it was a no.
He along with half of the other hopefuls will pack up and plan for 2019.
“We will be back next year and if needed the next year,’ Millspaugh said. “So I’ll meet you here in a year.”
The lucky companies will put their products on the trucks headed to Walmart within the year.