Eggville entreprenuer’s Cowgirl Gourmet in sweet deal with Walmart

EGGVILLE, Miss. — Cowgirl Gourmet, a Mississippi cottage startup with Tina Wilburn at the helm, just got a big boost from major retailer Walmart. The retail chain now carries Wilburn’s brand in 26 stores in Mississippi and Alabama. The entrepreneur has been making the distinctive condiment since she was 11 — a product she has now perfected. Walmart placed its first order of 5,000 boxes in July.

Wilburn told Daily Journal that chocolate gravy’s success is a dream come true. The delicious condiment has a dedicated following among Wilburn’s family and friends. Wilburn learned early on that she best not show up to gatherings without her signature dish. The gravy in stores is a dry mix, simply add water and stir.

Wilburn first started selling her gravy eight years ago in Denver at her furniture company. The product gained a swift following. She could barely keep up with orders. Within two weeks she had a brand and business was steady. Business was primarily wholesale orders, and Wilburn treated it as more of a hobby, citing it as her retirement plan.

She mixed the ingredients in a shop by her house, with her sister-in-law and niece helping to fill the orders. She did this for seven years until the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) came knocking. The MDA specializes in encouraging local businesses, and wanted to help Wilburn grow her endeavor to its full potential. It was the MDA that put Tina in touch with Walmart’s buyer, who was immediately enthusiastic about carrying the product. Within a few months, they were filling orders for 10 stores. The response has been positive, to say the least, and Wilburn’s homemade hit is now in twice the number of Walmart stores.

She is also in talks with other retailers to carry Cowgirl Gourmet.

Image courtesy of Cowgirl Gourmet

Source: Daily Journal

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Devon Green

Devon Green is an anthropologist by training and a lifelong lover of the written word. She became ​a ​reporter quite by accident when she started a blog documenting her day-to-day life in Macau and exploring Southeast Asia by bus, bike and the back of a motorbike. Upon r...