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These two Idaho products could soon show up on Walmart shelves

Growing Fresca Mexican Foods to expand with Caldwell plant

Fresca Mexican Foods makes millions of tortillas each day that wind up in restaurants on campuses around the country. The company expects to more than double its capacity when it moves from Boise to a bigger plant in Caldwell in 2018.
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Fresca Mexican Foods makes millions of tortillas each day that wind up in restaurants on campuses around the country. The company expects to more than double its capacity when it moves from Boise to a bigger plant in Caldwell in 2018.

Two Treasure Valley companies are one step closer to getting their products on the shelves of the world's top retailer.

Fresca Mexican Foods LLC and Decalcomania LLC took part in Walmart's fifth annual Open Call event last week, where they pitched their products to executives in Arkansas. More than 600 companies pitched American-made products, with 100 advancing to the second stage in the selection process, Walmart said. Fresca and Decalcomania are among those moving on.

Fresca: With our new plant, we can boost production

Since 1977, Fresca Mexican Foods has baked tortillas on 11193 Emerald Street in Boise, where it now produces about 3 million tortillas a day. The tortillas are sold in 15 states and seven countries. Tom Nist, vice president of sales and marketing, said the second meeting with Walmart will take place this week.

"They loved our process and our plant," Nist said. "At this point, it’s about finding those next steps."

The company also wants to get its tortillas on shelves at Boise grocer WinCo Foods, and met with them last week as well.

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Dale Orcutt, assistant plant manager, inspects tortillas as they roll off the assembly line at Fresca Mexican Foods. The company offers products that are kosher certified, halal certified and free of genetically modified ingredients. Kyle Green kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Nist said Fresca distinguishes itself from other tortilla makers by freezing its tortillas immediately after baking, avoiding the need for preservatives. However, since shoppers aren't necessarily looking in the frozen aisle for their tortillas, Nist said Fresca has developed a hybrid product that is kept frozen through distribution but is then thawed by the retailer before being put on the shelf.

Sales are approaching $50 million per year, and the company has about 150 employees, most of whom Nist said are full time.

Fresca is preparing to move in August to a new location at 2009 Smeed Parkway in Caldwell, where it can produce up to 8 million tortillas a day — capacity it will need if Walmart comes through.

Decalcomania: We found success in home decor

Formed in January 2016, Decalcomania focuses on special wall decals that, when combined with a free mobile app, appear to make popular Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and The Hulk come to life. The characters pop out of the wall in an augmented reality display.

The company, located at 890 E. Franklin Road in Meridian, got its start making stickers of stick-figure families for cars. It still sells them through familystickers.com, but more recently Decalcomania partnered with Marvel and changed its focus to the products it pitched to Walmart.

Decalcomania pitched three products to multiple Walmart departments and found success in the home decor department, said Brett McKenna, vice president of operations.

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When Decalcomania recieved confirmation in November it would be meeting with Walmart, it reached out to Marvel for a partnership, resulting in the Marvel wall decals the company now sells. In years past, the company also worked with Universal Studios to produce "Minions" merchandise. Provided by Decalcomania

"If they decide they like your product while you’re in the meeting, then they give you the golden ticket," McKenna said.

Owned by the company's president, Spencer Hill — who also owns Woodland Manufacturing, a Meridian sign maker — Decalcomania says it has about $1 million in sales per year. It has 10 employees including the owner, with three working full time and seven working part time.

The company's partnership with Marvel began last November, when it was confirmed Decalcomania would be meeting with Walmart; McKenna said the possible distribution in Walmart stores was a factor in the partnership.

McKenna said that if the deal with Walmart is finalized, Decalcomania is also looking into moving its headquarters to another facility, hoping to expand its manufacturing capability. The company is currently searching for a suitable site in Meridian.

Brandon Rasmussen: 208-377-6486, @brandonrasmus1



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