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News May 2010

In This Issue

Pride of Dakota Annual Meeting a Success

Pride of Dakota Annual Meeting a Success

The 2010 Pride of Dakota annual meeting featured a lineup of speakers who not only kept the crowd entertained, but also awakened the creativity in members to try new ways to present themselves, market their products and build relationships with customers as well as business partners.

Fancy Food Show Opportunity Featured Company: O’Connor’s Mustard Featured Store: Home Sweet Home Social Networking Technology Tidbit: Sellit Calendar of Events

Pride of Dakota News Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring Business Development Director Chuck Fleming Marketing Specialists Sara Kelsch Stephanie Sinner Sue Balcom Marketing Intern Joanna Drennen

On Tuesday morning, members learned about the many opportunities that social networking can provide their companies. Scott Wild of Wild Inspire, talked about Facebook™, Twitter© and WordPress as tools to increase a company’s visibility as well as enhance Above: Scott Wild delivers his presentation on Social customer relations. Following Wild’s presentation, Patty Corwin of Corwin Communications, emphasized the importance of professionalism in business. Corwin believes that professionalism is portrayed in the way you dress, the quality of written and graphic publications distributed by your company and the way you create and maintain customer relationships. (continued on page 2)

Networking. Below: Pride of Dakota companies network during the social.

(continued from page 1) The break-out sessions allowed companies to pick classes they felt were essential to improve their business. The sessions covered internet marketing, wholesale pricing, finding sales reps and distributors, funding, researching your market, food safety, marketing on a budget and working with the media. Judging from the surveys we received, all of the presenters did a great job and answered a lot of questions that members had. Companies that reserved spots in the highly sought-after “one-on-one” sessions received consultation on improving their product packaging and labeling or making their websites more user friendly. Sue Balcom, a Department of Agriculture Marketing Specialist, used her professional photography skills to help companies get high quality photos for use in publications or websites. On Wednesday, companies learned about the secret of creating effective logos from Scott Telle of Ad Monkeys. His advice: keep it clean and simple and make it look good in both color and black and white (oh, and don’t use clipart because it can’t be copyrighted). Later, LoAnn Wegh, owner of LoAnn’s Marketing Inc., taught members about customer service. Pride of Dakota staff received many compliments from members about the presenters, exhibitors, facilities, organization and lunch they experienced at the 2010 Annual Meeting. The meeting provided companies of all sizes and developmental stages opportunities to learn more about marketing their products. If you were unable to make this year’s meeting and you would like copies of the presentations, please contact our marketing intern, Joanna Drennen, by phone: 701-328-2662 or by email:

Fancy Food Show Opportunity The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) wants to help the Pride of Dakota specialty food producers get to New York, June 27-29, 2010, to walk the Fancy Foods Summer Show, North America’s largest specialty food and beverage show! Produced by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) since 1955, the Fancy Food Show attracts up to 24,000 attendees from every major food buying channel, influential members of the trade and consumer press and other related businesses. What is a “specialty food?” Foods and beverages that exemplify quality, innovation and/or style in their category are excellent candidates. Their specialty nature derives from such characteristics as originality, authenticity, ethnic or cultural origin, specific processing, ingredients, limited supply, distinctive use, extraordinary packaging or specific channel of distribution or sale. If your product fits that description, you’re invited to join Pride of Dakota staff at the show.

Here’s what you would receive: • $500 in expense reimbursement for up to 10 Pride of Dakota member companies that have not exhibited at a Fancy Food Show in the past three years. • A ND Ag Department staff person will meet you in New York and walk the show with you. • A retail tour of area stores carrying products similar to yours, educational sessions on exhibiting at a large trade show, and a presentation by a show representative on the benefits of becoming a NASFT member. To qualify, you must be a Pride of Dakota member in good standing and your products must fit the criteria of Fancy Food Shows. Participants are responsible for their expenses. Pride of Dakota will reimburse them $500 upon return from New York. Interested? Please contact Sara at (701) 328-4766 or, as soon as possible.

Pride of Dakota Featured Company Jerry O’Connor, owner of O’Connor’s Mustards, bottles his family heritage into every jar of mustard. His recipe comes from his Irish ancestors back in the 1880′s. The ingredients are simple: mustard, oil, vinegar, etc. Jerry has just the right touch to make his mustards irresistible with a sweet and hot taste. Every jar is made in small batches with premium ingredients. Jerry advises stirring them with a spoon and the mustard will be ready in seconds for your turkey sandwich.

If you’re looking for a way to spice up and sweeten your cooking, Jerry recommends trying his six mustard flavors in the following ways: • Original: brats, franks, corned beef, ham. • Honey Lemon: good on any type of fish. • Golden Honey: chicken, shrimp, potato salad. • Honey Hickory (Jerry’s personal favorite: “the greatest sandwich spread you’ll ever taste”). It’s also great for deviled eggs. • Honey Rhubarb: pretzels, chicken strips, veggies. • Cranberry: chicken, pan-fried fish. Visit Jerry’s website at for more information about his products and how to order them. The gift baskets are a great way to try out the mustards in your favorite recipe and as Jerry says, “they’re very mailable!”

Pride of Dakota Featured Store Linda Johnson, owner of Home Sweet Home in Minot, said that she never dreamed of being a business owner, but many would agree she’s doing a great job. At the 2010 Pride of Dakota annual meeting, Linda was named the 2009 Retailer of the Year for her outstanding display and promotion of Pride of Dakota products. “Being there and receiving the award overwhelmed me . . . it really meant a lot,” she said. “I like promoting North Dakota products.” Linda has designated an entire room in the store to showcase her impressive selection of Pride of Dakota products, and she offers samples nearly every Saturday. For Home Sweet Home, sampling has been a great way to increase foot traffic in the store. “You have to constantly be doing something or you’re not going to get the traffic,” said Linda. In March, she offered Pride of Dakota samples every day to celebrate Pride of Dakota month and the

25th anniversary. She also hosted a book signing at Home Sweet Home with local authors, April 30 and May 1, capturing a new audience for Pride of Dakota products by offering samples to those who attended. Customers return to Home Sweet Home because they enjoy Linda’s selection of North Dakota-made products. They especially like products made with chokecherries, Juneberries and rhubarb. Former North Dakota residents says these ingredients refresh their memory about the great foods and people they left behind, while satisfying their need to have a piece of home. Pride of Dakota is honored to have Linda Johnson as a part of our network. She helps create a positive image about North Dakota through her professionalism, innovative thinking and promotion of its products and people. Thank you Linda, for the service you provide to Pride of Dakota and its members as well as the state of North Dakota. Your recognition is truly deserved.

Pride of Dakota Social Networking Unfamiliar with social networking (also called social media)? Then it’s time to get connected. Pride of Dakota is working one-on-one with a social networking consultant, Scott Wild of Wild Inspired, to increase marketing opportunities for our members. Pride of Dakota now has a Facebook© page, Twitter™ account, WordPress blog, Ning network and YouTube account. Our Facebook fan page reaches nearly 3,000 people daily with feature stories about companies, little-known facts about the program, status updates and feature videos. We have increased traffic to our page by holding contests for our fans such as “Tell us your favorite Pride of Dakota product and why you can’t live without it.” These contests increase visibility for you, while giving us valuable insight about what people say when they use or describe Pride of Dakota products.

If you want your company to be featured on Facebook, please take the following steps: 1. Call or email us and ask to set up an interview to be the featured company of the week. Pride of Dakota retail stores are welcome and encouraged to do the same. 2. Fill out the “Tell us about you” form and email, fax or mail it back to us so we can share some “Little known facts…” about your company. 3. Let us know if your company has been in the news. For example, Cloverdale had a show produced about their company on television. They posted the link on our Facebook page so that all of our fans could watch the trailer. Nearly 3,000 people will be seeing the link so this is a costeffective way to reach a big audience. If you find social networking overwhelming, please call us at 701-328-2662 or email Joanna at mktg@ or Sara at We’re here to help you market your products.

Technology Tidbit: Sellit Sellit is a new online application for business owners with an established online store to use social networking sites as an avenue to reach a broader customer base. The website, explains how you can upload your website images and products so that shoppers can check out your product information and pricing. Currently, you can connect it to your Facebook and Twitter© accounts to promote it over those sites, but this application is eager to grow and connect with more sites to enhance product visibility. Right now, they offer the following: • Fast, one-click import of your shop’s products • No set-up or per-product fees • Basic statistics and bookmarking • Unlimited sharing across social networks, blogs and websites • Automated Facebook and Twitter marketing • Guaranteed monthly placements of your Sellit products • Increased monthly visibility and marketing • Advertising & marketing statistics • Add up to 150 items to your mini-shop • Mini-shop bookmarking Right now, Sellit serves as just a mini-shop, but hopes to increase shop size and quantity of shops. It’s another way you can pitch your product to more people. For more information, visit

Upcoming Events July 26

Pride of Dakota Day ND State Fair Minot

Sept. 16

Pride of Dakota Day ND State Capitol

Sept. 18-19

Pride of Dakota Harvest Showcase Dickinson

May 2010 Pride of Dakota Newsletter  

Articles on the Pride of Dakota Annual Meeting, Fancy Food Show and featured company and store.