Selling everything from candles to jam, seven Missouri retail businesses -- including one in Jefferson City and another in Vienna -- will be receiving a state agricultural grant to help spread the word about Missouri-made products.
The 2022 Missouri Grown Retail Promotion Matching Grants provide advertising funds to retail stores that sell a minimum of five products from Missouri Grown member companies and, in doing so, raises awareness about the products grown, raised and produced by members of the program, which represents nearly 1,000 small businesses in food, agriculture and agritourism, a news release from the Missouri Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.
The 2022 recipients are:
• Midwest Specialty Foods, Lee's Summit.
• Green Dirt Farm Creamery, Weston.
• Farmers' Meat Market LLC, Vienna.
• Maw Maw's Cupboard, Warrenton.
• Missouri Made c/o Dogwood Vintiques, Jefferson City.
• Schnucks Markets, multiple locations across the state.
• Local 60 Farmers' Market/Smithfield Food Trading Post, Smithville.
The grant awards up to $1,000 per retail store for reimbursement of expenses associated with promoting Missouri Grown member products, the news release said.
Cheri Willett, owner of Missouri Made c/o Dogwood Vintiques, has been selling Missouri products for more than 15 years.
"Missouri Made is actually inside of Dogwood Vintiques, which is kind of a new hybrid model of an antique mall," Willett said. "We (Willett and her husband) started Missouri Made because I recognized that there was not any way to market products that were made in Missouri."
Willett noted Missouri Made primarily sells food products, like honey and jam, but also sells items like candles, cookie cutters and pottery that were made in the state.
"It's supposed to help spread the word of Missouri products and that we offer those Missouri products at a retail location," Willett said. "I think it's really pretty awesome that they're offering something for the retail partners to market the products because it's one thing to get the products into the store but then you've got to get the customers aware that the store has the item."
Willett said she plans to use the grant for a commercial campaign on local television channels, a print campaign and digital marketing on Facebook.
"Our Missouri Grown members have told us that placing product in retail stores is one of the biggest challenges to their future growth," Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said in the news release. "With this grant opportunity, we've identified willing business owners who want to solve that challenge. I'm excited to see the growing opportunity pay off for our small businesses, while helping consumers find Missouri products."