Our First Big Order - Prairie Melody™ partners with Macon Resources Inc. for 99 Cent Only Stores
There are certain times when you know that you have done the right thing. Our partnership with Macon Resources, Inc. in Decatur, IL to package 40,000 of our one-pound packages for 99¢ Only Stores was great from the start.
We begin this success story in April 2019 when we met 99¢ Only Stores (https://99only.com/) at a gathering for new products and established retailers. The buyer loved the mission of Prairie Melody™ and we loved the vision of 99¢ Only to provide opportunities for their customers to help the environment in their space and at a price-point they could afford. It was the perfect fit for our “Every backyard makes a difference!” purpose statement.
Eventually, that meeting led to our first big order of 40,000 units. It is the dream of every new product to be placed in a physical store! Driving back to central Illinois the giddy success of the meeting subsided into questions of “How are we going to scale like that? We are going to need help!” Our first and only phone call for help was to Macon Resources (MRI) in Decatur.
MRI provides services and life skills to residents of Macon County, Illinois who have mental and physical challenges. Their biggest claim to fame is that their facility makes all the license plates for the State of Illinois – millions of them each year. MRI also does toll work such as packaging fasteners for local manufacturers and assembling fittings for a local foundry. The people they serve are dedicated, intelligent and thrilled to participate in new projects. To learn more about MRI, please check out their website (https://maconresources.org/). I am willing to bet there is a similar facility near you that could use your support.
The YouTube video attached to this blog is intended to show how we were able to give a little back to our community and to the people at MRI. We hear from Brad about our early meetings and how they approached the project. Tuesday, Brittany and Liz trained the staff and made sure everything was great. We also hear from one of MRI’s clients about her part of the process. We see other clients initially filling the packages, then making sure the proper amount of birdseed is in each bag before sealing them shut. The staff appreciated that no pesticides meant that there was no residue to concern their clients. The project quickly became a source of pride for the people “Working on Birdseed”. In all, over 16 people gained work experience and job skills thanks to 99¢ Only and Prairie Melody™. I cannot describe the smiles, the joy and the accomplishment of the MRI clients. I can’t wait to do it again!