NOTTINGHAM — A New Hampshire woman who created a nasal swab remedy using Active Manuka Honey is pitching her product to Walmart.
Joyce Dales, founder of Buzzagogo, is bringing Cold Bee Gone to Walmart’s 2019 Open Call Event in Bentonville, Ark., on June 18 and 19.
This is Walmart’s sixth annual open call event, and on average 100 small companies succeed in bringing products to Walmart’s shelves, according to the company.
Dales already has her product on the shelves at 2,700 CVS stores and Cold Bee Gone will be in the CMT Music Awards swag bag this year, which is a far cry from when Dales started mixing her natural product in the kitchen of her house with the intention of selling it at farmer’s markets.
The journey for Dales into the world of honey and how it can help people began when she met her husband, Jeffrey, in 2003. He had the superbug MRSA.
“I was obsessed with the fact that there are several super honeys in the world that actually can heal MRSA. So, I was doing a lot of reading and studying about that,” Dales said.
Dales said she invented Cold Bee Gone after they adopted their now 11-year-old daughter Camper from Vietnam. Camper had to have surgery because her heart was backward due to Agent Orange.
“There were clusters of kids there with that defect. It’s pretty rare here, but there they were doing 20 of the surgeries every three months in her province alone,” Dales said.
Dales and her husband were told their baby’s immune system was compromised. She went to work to find a natural way to prevent her family from becoming ill.
“I married everything I knew about honey with everything I knew about how we get sick and super honeys in particular because there are 12 of them around the world… I began mixing in my kitchen like a mad scientist,” Dales said.
Today, Cold Bee Gone is produced by a company in Texas and sells for $13.95 at over 3,000 stores throughout the country. Dales credits her mentor, Hollis McGuire from the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, with her success.
“They helped me get my act together. They took me from a jar and sticky notes to where we are today. I would tell every entrepreneur to get to the SBDC because it’s free. The level of expertise we have right here in New Hampshire is astonishing,” Dales said.
Information posted online about Walmart’s open call says 2019 attendees could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying thousands of stores, including Sam’s Clubs and Walmart.com.
“Our customers tell us that products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. are important to them, and we work year-round to identify local suppliers and source products that our customers are proud to buy,” Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s vice president of merchandise services and U.S. manufacturing, said in a statement.
During the 2018 Walmart Open Call, nearly 600 meetings were held with prospective suppliers from 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More than half of the attending businesses self-identified as diverse, including nearly 25 percent identifying as women-owned, according to company officials.