“We take your taste buds to 15 exotic destinations”: Walmart hosts annual open call

Entrepreneurs who dream of reaching thousands of customers at the world’s largest retailer had the chance to showcase their products. 

On June 19, people from around the world gathered at the Walmart Home Office to pitch their ideas at the Sixth Annual Open Call for American Products. 

Walmart has a 10-year commitment to place 250 billion more United States made products on their shelves, and today a few more got added. 

“I am super excited and super happy that our products got selected,” entrepreneur Ian Schafruen said. 

Schafruen and his wife created Healthee, which is a line of organic and gluten-free easy microwaveable meals. 

“It’s amazing what Walmart is doing to create jobs for products like mine, and I am very excited and looking forward to working with them,” entrepreneur Augustine Guma said.

Guma and his team created Guma Spicy Pies, which features seven different spices representing the seven different continents.

Guma said he is a survivor from the genocide in Uganda, who was saved by the American Special Forces, and decided to use the spices as a way to promote love and peace all over the world. 

Some other products that will soon be on a Walmart shelf near you, come in many styles. 

“We take your taste buds to 15 exotic destinations around the world through our freshly prepared meals and high protein hot wraps,” entrepreneur Lisa Sohanpal said. 

She created Mini Nom Nom’s, which featured healthy world food for kids. 

“Our products are gluten, grain, and grasses family free,” said entrepreneurs Margie and Ann Mae Traxler.

The mother-daughter duo created Grain Free Mama’s, which features mixes such as:

  • crepe
  • pizza crust
  • cookie
  • muffin 

It was an opportunity for those who got to show off their products, but it was also an enjoyable day for those who didn’t.

“It’s a great place to show off Walmart and Northwest Arkansas, and we are having a lot of fun,” Walmart Vice President for Merchandising Services Cindi Marsiglio said. 

“As with any Walmart event, the vibes here are pretty positive and pretty high energy,” Greater Bentonville Chamber President and CEO Graham Cobb said. 

After the 2019 Open Call event, Walmart invited attendees to reception to congratulate those who participated in the event.