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Alpena business makes it into Walmart


ALPENA, Mich. – Many small businesses want their chance to have their product on Walmart Store shelves including one Alpena business that participated in a program the national retail chain offers.

It’s now no longer and “if” it’s now a “when.”

“It worked out for us; we got a deal that day,” said Speedy Blaze owner Sherm Hubbard.” So, we’ll be hitting Walmart shelves by the fourth quarter of this year.”

Alpena’s own Speedy Blaze has made its way through Walmart’s Open Call with the company’s’ fire kits earning a spot on the national retail chains camping department shelves.

“Speedy Blaze is a 100 percent recycled product,” said Hubbard. “We move almost 2 lbs. of material that would otherwise end up in a landfill.”

The local fire kit company, who’s been in operation since 2015 was inspired by Hubbard’s grandfather.

“It’s a paraffin wax based coating that when I was a little kid they covered matches in,” said Hubbard.

Walmart’s Open Call allows small businesses to pitch their U.S. made products, promoting U.. manufacturing and the creations of jobs.

“At Walmart, we believe in supporting products made, grown or assembled in the U.S.” said Walmart Media Relations Associate Casey Staheli. “American jobs makes sense to our customers and communities and our company. In fact, more than 85 percent of customers tell us that it’s important that retailers have products that are made or assembled in the United States.”

“Walmart is the acid test as far as a consumer product,” said Hubbard. “When you get on the shelves at Walmart, it pretty much signifies you’re on the right track.”

More than 900 small businesses pitched their business plans in the open call.

Regardless of how a business places in the open call, all participants are eligible to sell their product on Walmart’s online platforms like Walmart or Sam’s

Currently Speedy Blaze products are sold in over 20 states.