It’s a special time for an entrepreneur when those first products hit the store shelves and customers start buying. It’s that time for Sconnie Foods, a start-up company in CVTC’s NanoRite Center for Innovation.
The young company’s new product, sauerkraut packaged in a squeeze bottle, is now available in all 10 Gordy’s supermarkets in the Chippewa Valley. It will also be available at the concession stand at Eau Claire Express baseball games.
The NanoRite Center has been providing space and access to equipment and services for fledgling businesses since 2007. Tracy Lundberg brought her business, originally called BTL Food Group, to the center in May 2012. She had been working on product development and striking a deal with Silver Springs, the horseradish and mustard company in Eau Claire, to produce and package her product.
Now she’s ready to move her product into the hands of consumers. She obtained an appointment with Gordy’s executive Dave Schafer, son of Gordy’s founder Gordy Schafer, Lundberg said.
“They thought it was a great concept,” Lundberg said of her product, designed for ease of application of sauerkraut to brats and other summertime food favorites. “They put in their order right then and there. They wanted it in the stores before the 4th of July weekend. They were very excited to be the first ones to retail it.”
Gordy’s has a history of helping out local businesses. Lundberg is grateful for their support, and the support of many other people, including the people at the NanoRite Center.
“When I was first starting to look for office space and lab space, I heard about NanoRite. It’s a great facility, perfect for a start-up like myself,” she said. “I hope to be there as long as I can.”
In an article about NanoRite, featuring Lundberg’s business, in the Winter 2013 issue of Chippewa Valley Business Report magazine, CVTC Vice President of Operations Tom Huffcutt said, “The value we lend is flexible, affordable space and access to as-needed equipment and talent through the partnerships we have with the universities in the region.”
Lundberg is preparing to ramp up production of her products, and she has some promotional opportunities coming up. She’s going to be a guest on a Milwaukee radio program to talk about her product, and might have an opportunity to promote it at German Fest in Milwaukee later this month.