LIHU‘E — Two Kaua‘i businesses are among the four selected from the state to be included in the nearly 850 Open Call applicants to pitch their U.S. manufactured products to Walmart’s team of merchants.
The shortlist was gleaned from approximately 4,800 businesses around the country in the first-ever virtual Open Call where businesses have an opportunity to have their products potentially land on Walmart and Sam’s Club shelves, on Walmart.com, and Walmart Marketplace.
“We are excited for the possibility of putting Meli Wraps on Walmart shelves,” said Melia Foster, the co-founder of Meli Wraps in Kilauea. “We are based on Kaua‘i and manufacture our products locally. Working with Walmart, we’d be able to increase production and provide more jobs for the community.”
Meli Wraps is one of two Kaua‘i businesses to advance in the Open Call process. Smoky Valley Lotions in Waimea is the second Kaua‘i business.
“What a fabulous opportunity this would be for my company, and for my community,” said Jo King, the senior chemist and owner of Smoky Valley Lotions. “My taro farming neighbors and I conceived the repellent to solve a problem. It’s my hope to inspire my friends and community to follow their dreams.”
Smoky Valley Lotions produces an organic insect repellent body lotion created with Hawaiian taro. Based on the Westside, the company is just launching a product line of body lotions and salves following years of research and development. For more information, visit www.smokyvalleylotions.com.
Meli Wraps started in 2016, manufacturing hand-made food wraps designed to reduce plastic and help keep food fresh.
The wraps are made using Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton, local beeswax, tree resin, and plant oils to create a natural wrap that can be used up to 150 washes. The company recently added a line of 100 percent GOTS Organic Cotton face masks. For more information, visit www.meliwraps.com.
The other two businesses from Hawai‘i include Healing Noni Co. from Pahoa, Hawai‘i Island, one of the largest producers and suppliers of noni in the world.
Pono Chocolate of Paia, Maui is the final Hawai‘i company to advance in the Open Call process. Pono Chocolate opened in 2018 and offers unique chocolate bars, handmade in small batches with locally-inspired ingredients such as dragonfruit, coconut, and coffee beans. Each bar includes an ‘olelo, Hawaiian words of wisdom in a takeaway parchment.