Marketing the home state advantage
Appeal Staff Writer
Salsa. Swamp coolers. Tea. Etched Glass and candy-coated sunflower seeds.
All of them for sale and all of them carrying the “Made in Nevada” distinction.
The “Made in Nevada” program is a non-tax supported association of business, agriculture and government entities working to promote products manufactured and crafted in Nevada.
The group is organized through the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.
“We produce marketing materials, catalogs and information and can promote the Nevada Brand on items,” said Kimberly Elliot, NCED director of marketing. “With a lot of small businesses, they are two-man operations and can’t go to the trade shows and promote their product, but we can.”
They support small businesses like the one owned by Ben and Barbara Bachman.
The couple owns TurboKool, selling swamp coolers manufactured in Sparks from their offices in Gardnerville. The coolers are designed to run on a 12-volt system and can be powered from a solar panel, making them convenient for traveling.
“We had a cooler in our travel trailer for 10 years, and it broke. We tried to replace the part and heard the owner had died. We couldn’t find one that we liked so we contacted the widow and ended up buying what was left of the company,” said Barbara Bachman.
The Bachmans were one of a dozen companies represented at the economic commission’s Made in Nevada Day at the Nevada State Legislature.
“This is our third legislative reception, and the goal is to give our members the opportunity to network. It also gives them a chance to showcase what they do for Nevada to lawmakers,” Elliot said.
Bryan Pritchard was manning the booth for Killer Salsa, which was started by his mother 14 years ago from her Gardnerville home.
The company now employs eight people, and its products can be found on supermarket shelves and in area restaurants and casinos.
“She moved here from California and couldn’t find a job that paid what she was making there, so she started making salsa,” Pritchard said.
The company recently added a green salsa to complement its line of canned salsas.
“We are going for having a hot taste, but not a taste that is burning your mouth or having you reach for beer or water every time you take a bite,” Pritchard said.
This is the second time at the Legislature for Bruce and Linda Larson, co-owners of Botcha-Caloops in Virginia City. The company does custom glass etching, among other things.
“We went to a craft fair and saw this garden stone carving so we decided to do it,” she said. “But we determined that stones are heavy, so we started doing this.”
The most popular item recently is the engraved wine bottles made for the session.
Elliot said one of the biggest benefits for the association’s approximately 100 members is the catalog offering member items. The association is marking businesses with items available in time for Mother’s Day, including Field of Thorns, a Silver Springs business that makes lotions and lip balms from vegetable-based ingredients; Lavender Ridge in Reno, which operates a 1.5 acre lavender farm and produces lavender-infused and fragrance-free balms, or Glake, Etc. of Lovelock, which creates custom-made cookie cutters.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.
For more information or to browse products that are Made in Nevada, visit http://www.madeinnv.com.