ODAFF's Made in Oklahoma Program Gets New 3,600 Sq. Ft. Store Front Location at OK State FairFri, 15 Sep 2017 14:54:49 CDT
One word goes a long way in telling the story of the new Made in Oklahoma Store at the Oklahoma State Fair - growing.
Naturally, growing is a part of agriculture, but there has also been significant growth in the Made in Oklahoma program and in the Made in Oklahoma Store itself.
The Made in Oklahoma Store began as a 300-square foot store/exhibit space in 2014 then grew to 600 square feet in 2015 and 900 square feet in 2016.
This week, through the efforts of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (ODAFF) and the Oklahoma State Fair, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of a more than 3,600-square foot Made in Oklahoma Store, located within the State Fairground's new Bennett Event Center.
Tandy Kidd, an ODAFF marketing coordinator for the Made in Oklahoma program, joined Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays in studio this week, to discuss this new outlet for MIO members to promote their products.
"We have anything that you can imagine," Kidd said. "Everything from skincare products, soap, lotion, foods - all the way down to home décor, furniture- really anything you can just imagine, is made and processed here in Oklahoma."
The Made in Oklahoma Store is open to companies throughout the state that produce, grow or manufacture products of any kind. The sales have increased due to the number of Made in Oklahoma products that have been added to the store each year.
The membership of the Made in Oklahoma program, which began in the late 1980s, has a long-standing tradition of producing quality handmade items that Oklahomans can be proud to support.
Kidd says the Made in Oklahoma program itself has continued to grow throughout the years.
"There is no cost to be in the Made in Oklahoma program," Kidd said. "Currently, we have about 400 different companies that are within the Made in Oklahoma program. The Made in Oklahoma Store, was kind of the brainchild of Secretary Jim Reese and (Oklahoma State Fair President and CEO) Mr. Tim O'Toole. Our first year, we had a little over 100 sq. ft. in 2014, and each year we kind of progressively went forward. Last year we had a little over 900 sq. ft. and then this year we really made a large leap and we have over 3,600 sq. ft. of solely Made in Oklahoma products for consumers to purchase."
The Made in Oklahoma Store has strengthened the partnership between the Made in Oklahoma Program and the Oklahoma State Fair. The Oklahoma State Fair has offered hundreds of Made in Oklahoma companies the opportunity to showcase and sell their products to an audience they have previously been unable to reach.
Kidd says he believes the Made in Oklahoma program has a bright future ahead as it continues to grow.
"There's really a demand and a need for products that are grown locally and produced here in the state," Kidd said. "I really see the Made in Oklahoma program going really far in the future."
There are close to 50 Made in Oklahoma vendors in the store this year. The store hours are the same as the Bennett Event Center, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Oklahoma State Fair continues through Sunday, September 24.
Kidd will join Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays for his weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m. Be sure to catch their visit then. In the meantime, you can listen to Hays' complete off-camera interview with Kidd, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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