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New program boosts Missouri-grown products

Retailers statewide receive grants to market local goods in their stores

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Rogersville-based Pyramid Foods was announced as one of 13 retail companies to receive a grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Missouri Grown program.

To celebrate Buy Missouri Day on April 21, the program – which highlights products raised, grown or processed in the state – created a new grant to encourage retailers to promote Show-Me State products on their shelves, Program Manager Christi Miller said. In total, Missouri Grown awarded $18,243.

“What we try to do is make that connection between those farmers and ranchers and the consumer,” Miller said.

“It can be anything from the raw product of fruits and vegetables, all the way to things that are value-added – jams, jellies, meat sticks.”

Retailers were eligible for up to $1,000 per retail location to use for marketing, including promotion of Missouri products.

Grant funds also required a one-to-one match from the business, Miller said, which was a determining factor in how much each location received.

Pyramid Foods, which operates locations of Price Cutter, King Cash Saver, Save a Lot, Country Mart and Ramey grocery stores across the state, received $7,500 from the grant program, Miller said.

“When you shop at our locally owned company, the money stays right here at home, creating hundreds of jobs for our community and allows us to give back,” said Pyramid Foods Advertising and Marketing Manager Samantha Richardson in a news release. “We’re very excited to partner with Missouri Grown to promote eating fresh and supporting local, family farms.”

Pyramid Foods officials were not available for comment by press time.

Applying retailers had to demonstrate how awarded money would be used. All applicants were scored and the top 13 were awarded the grant funds, said Miller.

Retail locations which sold products from at least five of the roughly 1,000 Missouri Grown members could apply. Members in the Springfield area include Buckner’s Blueberries, The Grove Salsa Co. LLC, Wilson’s Creek Farm, Tyler Ridge Vineyard Winery LLC and JB’s Gourmet Spice Blends.

Miller said the program is designed to promote the relationship between local retailers, producers and consumers.

“It’s very much a full circle on this program – help the retailer, which helps the small business owner, which gets the product to the consumer,” Miller said.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, when consumers spend $100 at a small business, $48 stays in the community. The same $100 spent at a big-box store or national retailer only retains $14.

Missouri retail businesses who received a grant, and their locations, are:
• Botanical Tea Room, Augusta;
• Country Living General Store, Washington;
• Green Dirt Farm Creamery, Weston;
• Green Hills Fresh Meats, Brookfield
• Hen House Cannery and Goods, Bonne Terre;
• Lucky Snipe Trading Post, Tipton;
• Maw Maw’s Cupboard, Warrenton;
• Midwest Specialty Foods, Lee’s Summit;
• Mississippi Marketplace, Hannibal;
• Missouri’s Trading Post, Hermann;
• Patterson Family General Store and Boutique, Wildwood;
• Pyramid Foods, Rogersville; and
• St. James Winery, St. James.

Miller said the selected retailers have a variety of planned marketing strategies.

“We’re going to see billboards across our state on interstates, we’re going to see newspaper advertising and radio advertising, and in-store signage, and it’s going to be really fun over the next couple of months to see what this grant does for the retail locations and the members who sell their products on those store shelves,” she said.

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