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9 Pride of Dakota Companies on How to Grow in North Dakota

Tips for Growing in North Dakota

Our state has a lot to offer, from the rolling hills in the western side of the state to the fertile farmland that can be found all along the Red River Valley, we’ve got things pretty good. However, sometimes we forget just how amazing some of the products produced here really are.

For a quick reminder, we chose to highlight some great Pride of Dakota products and asked those companies for a few tips on how to grow in our great state.

JUMBOS SLOPPY JOE SAUCE

From The Jumbo’s Website:

In the 1950s, a connoisseur of fantastic flavor named ‘Jumbo Jim’ made waves in the town of Mandan, North Dakota, by offering a Sloppy Joe at his Drive-In that kept customers clamoring for more. Children and adults alike offered their votes of approval as this sauce became a sensation in the state capital’s sister city.

Today, the sauce is available at your local grocer or on the Jumbo’s website in a 14-oz jar, bringing Jumbo’s classic, unbeatable taste directly into your home.

3 TIPS

  1. Never miss a chance to tell your story.
  1. Find allies – We’ve been very blessed to have some strong influencers, including Jay Thomas from WDAY become fans and friends along the way.
  1. Adapt and market constantly.

COTTONWOOD CIDER HOUSE

From The Cottonwood Cider House Website:

ND’s first Cidery, Cottonwood Cider House crafts its cider from apples grown by Cottonwood Farm. Located by Ayr, ND, Cottonwood Farm is a fourth-generation family-owned farm and ND’s largest commercial organic mixed fruit orchard.

3 TIPS

  1. We go above and beyond to promote our product. Part of this is making an effort to learn about our customers and spend time with each one. After all, they are choosing to spend their time and money on our cider. That’s a bid deal to us. We remember the names of as many people as we can. We want people to know that we appreciate them.
  1. Have a unique product. We are always coming up with new ideas for different ciders. People like to have variety and new ciders to choose from.
  1. Believe in your product and educate your team members about your product. We are the best people to sell our cider. Every Cottonwood Cider House employee learns about the cider making process from apple picking to how our cider is made.

FOUR FAMILIES PASTA

From The Four Families Pasta Website:

Four Families Penne Pasta is a high fiber pasta that is not only a healthy alternative but also helps animals in need.

3 TIPS

  1. Find trends in what customers are asking for and provide that service.
  1. Get the word out to as manypeople as possible. Utilize all thesocial media outlets.
  1. Take pride in your business and the products you are selling.

HOMESPUN CHICK

From The HomeSpun Chick Website:

Our handcrafted goat soaps and lotions are created in our studio with love and quality ingredients going into each batch. Our goat milk is graciously given to us by our nanny goats, Rosie, Chloe, Alyce and Dotty. They are free range goats with a diet of only the best offerings the farm produces. After each milking, we strain the raw milk to remove any impurities and freeze it immediately. It is not processed in any way so as to retain the healthy qualities of the milk and cream.

3 TIPS

  1. Always be yourself and be true to yourself. Do not compromise yourself or your beliefs. Be honest with yourself and others in all you do, show kindness to everyone you meet,
  1. Do not be afraid to fail. Trying new ways of doing things, new ideas, new anything – there is always a risk of failure not everything you do will be a uccess. Be willing to not only fail, but learn from the failure and get right back up and take another risk, or try another idea – when you stop learning you stop living.
  1. Ask for Help. You cannot be everything to everyone, you have strengths and weaknesses – excel in your strengths, ask for help in your weaknesses. Asking for help is not a weakness but a strength as you are acknowledging you need help and that takes guts!

UNCLE CHARLIE’S GOURMET SNACKS

From The Uncle Charlie’s Gourmet Snacks Website:

Charlie’s Chow takes snacking to a whole new level with unique gourmet flavors on a classic Midwestern treat. By focusing on making small batches from scratch, we pour our hearts into crafting exceptional flavors for those that seek a homemade snack experience. With fun flavors that buck tradition for extraordinary snacking, it is our mission to make parties more celebratory, watching TV shows more munchable, simply giving snackers that chance to enjoy our special flavors any time they desire.

3 TIPS

  1. Be Creative “color outside the lines.” No one ever changes the world by doing what everyone else has done. Tap into that part of you that only you can present to the world and embrace your uniqueness. As an entrepreneur, you are already different. Embrace it.
  1. Balance Transparency vs. Mystique. These days, customers demand transparency. They want to know who? What? When? Where? Why? The trick is to be transparent but still maintain an air of mysticism. Overexposure can cause people to ge tired of you, but customers still wan to feel like they know you and you company intimately. So give them access, but always keep them on the edge of their seats, anticipating what’s next for your company.
  1. Be mutable. Every company runs into hiccups. Be able and willing to pivot if need be. Never be so enamored with your original idea that you’re not willing to make changes or update your idea. Ideas evolve, be willing to grow with them.

DAKOTA DON’S ARTISAN WAFFLES

From Dakota the Dakota Don’s Artisan Waffles Website:

Hi, I’m Dakota Don.

My waffle mix offers an easy to make waffle that tastes like a homemade gourmet product for an enhanced food experience or special event. There hasn’t been a demand for a different waffle because there hasn’t been a credible alternative. DDAW mix is blended specifically for the waffle iron and achieves a significantly better taste and texture.

3 TIPS

  1. Use mentoring resources like SCORE and InnovateND. The progress of Dakota Don’s Artisan Waffles can be linked to guidance from mentors and programs available to new ND companies. My SCORE mentors and my InnovateND advisor provided objective and unbiased perspectives in regular meetings. Our discussions helped me establish and evaluate goals, set guidelines and meet deadlines. Their experience with the larger business community and contacts available were key to the progress I have made.
  1. Pursue available grants. The two relatively small grants that InnovateND provided, gave me a more realistic view of product acceptance and the financial cost of moving DDAW forward. The product survey and the timeline of the grant allowed me to better understand and direct my efforts. The pandemic slowed down the process of marketing the DDAW mix but may have helped by allowing a more “organic” development of the product.
  1. Get the input of friends and family. I honored relentless encouragement from friends and family to share the famous waffle that I made them for over 25 years. One friend’s son, now an adult, named them legendary.

LASHE NATURALS

From The LaShe Naturals Website:

LaShe Naturals offers help to people who deal with difficult natural health problems every day. Muscle Aches, Back Pain, Leg Cramps, Menstrual Cramps and Chest Congestion create sleepless nights and uncomfortable days. Smelly shoes and other embarrassing sports related aromas. Our products are made with pure all natural ingredients.

3 TIPS

  1. Join Pride of Dakota and use the resources they provide. Attend shows, educational training and talk to other members for advice.
  1. In order to have your products available to sell you must develop a dependable supply chain for your ingredients and packaging. Learn the habits of your supply chain so you know how far out you need to order. Most of the companies we purchase from ship quickly, but, one essential item can hold up everything. This has been doubly important during the past year
  1. Create a website and establish your shipping methods.

KRAMPADE

From The Krampade Website:

Krampade products are a high potassium electrolyte powder, replacing potassium lost in muscles and body through everyday activity. Our products help stop and prevent cramping, but also enhances performance, speeds recovery after activity, and reduces fatigue, all while optimizing your hydration.

3 TIPS

  1. Interact with your local EDC office
  1. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in ND and teh State supports this
  1. Grow our own businesses here.

STEEP ME A CUP OF TEA

From The Steep Me a Cup of Tea Website:

Steep Me A Cup of Tea is a trendy shop serving hot and iced beverages made by fusion. This trendy shop will keep your taste buds excited with over 100 different kinds of loose tea that will exceed all tea lover’s expectations. We love local artists and their handmade products which is why we offer our venue to market their products to our customers.

3 TIPS

  1. 1000% quality customer service makes all the difference!
  1. Have a superior product for the money!
  1. Have passion and integrity in your product!

What do you think?

Written by Brady Drake

Awesome Foundation Grant Award Winner

Awesome Foundation Grant Award Winner: Kindred Park Board/Kindred Public Library

Shontarius D. Aikens, Ph.D

Academic Insight: A Collaborative Approach for Conducting Performance Evaluations