A local entrepreneur is being given the chance of a lifetime to pitch a product idea in the hopes of it ending up on store shelves.
It’s part of Walmart’s nationwide search to find the next great product made in the United States.
The local man thought he was auditioning on Friday, May 17 as part of the contest, but he was in for quite the surprise.
Berry Young has a shot at getting on the shelf at Walmart, not personally but with a product that he developed.
The world’s largest retailer is giving Young a significant chance to chase the America dream of successful entrepreneurship.
At his store visit, his thought was to try and impress local Walmart managers to make the cut for getting to an event known as “Open Call.”
It’s an exciting and unique opportunity for entrepreneurs with products made, sourced, or grown in the U.S. to come to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas in mid-June to pitch their products to be put them in the hands of millions of Walmart customers.
Young was surprised that he was already chosen by the managers to make that trip.
This was no audition, it was to surprise him with the announcement he’s made it.
He’s thankful to the Saginaw community and his tireless supporters for helping him, possibly, make it big.
“I just praise God that I would grow up there, I was raised there and the people that supported me, my teachers, coaches, ‘cause that’s all that’s in me to be best, to be the best you can be,” Young said.
“Well it’s been really exciting,” said Beth Harris, a Walmart store manager. “It was nerve-wracking to know the answer. To know that Berry’s item had been selected, but have to keep that as a surprise.”
Berry Young’s Saginaw based company, Jheirs LLC, produces a special teething ring made into a mitt for baby-sized hands.
The idea was born out of his experience with his nine grandchildren.
Getting it into Walmart would be a really big deal.
“This product was something I developed and so it’s like, it’s my baby, so,” Young said.
The Open Call event when Young will learn if his product makes the cut happens June 18 and 19.