(Fremont County, WY) – Brown Sugar Coffee Roastery in Riverton and Yellowstone Spice Company in Lander recently traveled to Chicago, Illinois for the National Restaurant Association’s Tastes of the States tradeshow. Also joining them from Wyoming was Pure Madness Brewery Group, which is the combination of Roadhouse Brewing and Melvin Brewing.
Held in North America’s largest convention center, McCormick Place, there were over 2,000 booths and well over 50,000 visitors at the four-day convention.
“It was so much even just walking around,” shared Yellowstone Spice Company owner and operator Scout Fauth. “You couldn’t see everything, that’s for sure.”
This is the second year Wyoming has attended the event, according to Jill Tregemba, Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Development Manager.
“So last year, Wyoming got to go and kind of see the show and look at what are the opportunities for Wyoming companies that are looking to scale up and reach a new set of buyers,” Tregemba said. “And so after that, we thought this is a great opportunity for some companies. So we committed to doing more booths this year and put out an announcement.”
This opportunity got these Wyoming businesses in front of new buyers and distributors.
“There are companies from Coca-Cola to like Yellowstone Spice; you get to see the full gamut of a multi-global company to a truly local startup, you know, so it’s a neat experience,” Tregemba continued.
Both Brown Sugar and Yellowstone Spice had booths that were busy the entire time. Brown Sugar’s owner and operator Amanda Henry gave out free samples of coffee, and Fauth gave out free samples of seasonings.
“I learned so much,” Henry said. “The knowledge that I took away from that show is business changing for me.”
Fauth and Henry made connections at the tradeshow that could expand their businesses, which is something the Wyoming Business Council wants to see since they are all about economic development.
“A key driver in economic development is building local capacity and seeing our businesses thrive,” Tregemba said.
Henry’s coffee made such a buzz at the tradeshow that Folgers Coffee stopped by to meet her and check out her coffee.
“I’m taking that as a huge compliment that they came and sought out my little, tiny booth,” Henry said.
Henry and Fauth said they would like to return to the tradeshow next year.
Tregemba noted the Wyoming Business Council still needs to “evaluate and make sure it makes sense” to attend the tradeshow next year.
Fauth said he would like to attend with a bison or beef producer.
“I’d really like to go with either a bison company or a cattle company, and they provide the beef, and I can provide the seasoning,” Fauth said. “A lot of buyers are looking for good quality meats, just good quality products alone.”
Exciting things are on the horizon for both Brown Sugar and Yellowstone Spice Company.