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Small businesses score big win at Affiliated Foods Spring Food Show (March 29, 2007)

LINCOLN, NEB. (March 29, 2007)—Four of GROW Nebraska’s business members reigned “superior” during the recent Affiliated Foods Spring 2007 Food Show held in Omaha.

Katrina Frey, Heavenly Creations, James Gustafson, PurJava, Carmen Atchison, Herbal Gathering Mustard, and Tracy Dietz, Mama’s Salsa earned a superior in the show’s “Best of Booth” category.

Though small, the companies are successfully competing against larger companies, each building a reputation for quality, reliable products.

“This win lets Affiliated Foods know that our companies are committed to building a long-lasting relationship, and boosts our confidence in knowing we can compete with larger companies,” said Frey. “For GROW Nebraska, this win confirms its ability to compete with larger companies, yet remain a smaller, more personal corporation in terms of its benefits and service”.

GROW Nebraska is committed to moving forward with future grocery store initiatives and to continuing its offering of services that help entrepreneurs develop high growth companies.

“Getting quality Nebraska products onto grocery store shelves is a big step toward achieving volume sales and creating new jobs,” said Janell Anderson Ehrke, GROW Nebraska CEO.

GROW Nebraska’s Annual Product Evaluation Service—required for any businesses participating in GROW’s markets or retail events—is arguably the direct link to earning valuable shelving space. This year’s event is slated for April 26.

The Product Evaluation is all about marketability, originality, pricing and packaging. Five jurors rate each and every product’s design, creativity, craftsmanship, price, and overall impact, and recommend possible improvements and marketing ideas.

“Producers gain valuable insight about their Nebraska products, and the evaluated products consistently draw the attention of purchasing agents,” said Anderson Ehrke. “On the flip side, the Evaluation attracts Nebraska storeowners to our jury pool, which is vitally important to introducing them to the quality products made in our state.”
The Product Evaluation on April 26 includes a luncheon, open to members and non-members, with training on “Adding e-Commerce to Your Web Site”. Keynote speaker Jeff Reynolds, co-director of the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project will talk about “Improving Rural Business Success.”

Producers are not present during the evaluation so that jurors can candidly assess all products.

The registration deadline is April 23. To receive a Product Evaluation Packet, call 1-888-GROWNEB (1-888-475-9632), email Janell Anderson Ehrke at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or download a Product Evaluation packet and training agenda at: http://www.growneb.com/forms/producteval_retail.php

A program of Central Plains Foundation Inc., GROW Nebraska helps maximize the state’s entrepreneurial spirit and build the global reputation of Nebraska businesses by providing sustainable business environments through business-building marketing and education. To learn more about GROW Nebraska or Nebraska entrepreneurs and businesses, visit the GROW website at: www.grownebraska.com.

Janell Anderson Ehrke at 888-475-9632, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Individuals who are hearing and/or speech impaired and have a TDD, may contact the department through the Statewide Relay System by calling one of the following numbers:
711, (800) 833- 7352 (TDD), or (800) 833-0920 (voice).
The relay operator should be asked to call DED at (800) 426-6505, or (402) 471-3111.

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Nebraska Department of Economic Development | Courtney Dentlinger, Department Director
301 Centennial Mall South | P.O. Box 94666 | Lincoln, NE 68509-4666
Phone (800) 426-6505 | Fax (402) 471-3778