Two Tacoma-area businesses are headed to Arkansas to pitch their products for Walmart

Local business owners Chris Miller of BeeKing’s Raw Honey and Body Care of Puyallup and John Tebb of Tacoma Firelogs showed up last week at the Tacoma Walmart expecting to make a final pitch for the retailer’s annual Open Call.

They soon found out they were going to Bentonville.

The retail giant’s Open Call event at its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, gives a chance for made-in-America vendors to make a pitch to sell on Walmart’s shelves, at Sam’s Club or its online store.

BeeKing’s makes wax-based personal care products and Tacoma Firelogs produces logs made from wood without wax binders.

“We know our sustainably made, clean-burning fire logs would be a great fit for Walmart, and we’re appreciative of the opportunity to meet with the buyers next month,” said Tebb, vice president of Fred Tebb & Sons, Inc., parent brand of Tacoma Firelogs, in a statement.

Miller sees the Open Call opportunity as a chance to help spread the wealth if accepted.

“The farm campus we are a part of is operated by an organization that provides jobs and daycare both on-site and off-site for single mothers in our community,” said Miller, owner of BeeKing’s, in a statement. “Being on Walmart shelves means that we can continue to evolve and grow, driving our mission to support women and create natural, sustainable products.”

Walmart has committed to purchasing an additional $250 billion in products made, sourced, or grown in the United States by 2023. This year’s Open Call is June 18-19.

Last year, Seattle-based Intelligent Lids (iLids), which until recently manufactured its products in Fife, made the cut.