Walmart Orders One Million Taco Plates From Local Inventor

A Fayetteville man had an idea to invent a plastic taco-holder when he was a student at the University of Arkansas, and on Tuesday, Hugh Jarratt had the biggest sale of his life—Walmart bought one million taco plates.

“I ate way too many tacos in college,” He said, “And I got tired of them falling over.”

Walmart had their first ever “open-call” for U.S. inventors as part of a new initiative to get more American products on their shelves. Jarratt was one of 800 inventors to go before Walmart buyers to pitch their inventions to secure a sale.

Jarratt’s wife and business partner Nicole said reality hadn’t sunk in as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Last night for a second, we were like so we now have to produce a million taco plates,” His wife said, “Where do we start? Where do we go from here?”

The couple said they first started selling their taco plates five years ago at the War Eagle Craft fair. After selling most of his inventory, Jarratt said he realized he needed to look for a local manufacturer.

“I Googled injection molding in Arkansas, and the first one that comes up in Poly Tech Molding Inc.,” He said.

The couple said they immediately felt welcomed by the Prairie Grove company, which was only a 30 minute drive from their home.

“It just feels good to be able to work with people, and give them more business that are really kind of like our neighbors,” Jarratt said.

Poly Tech plant manager Gaylene Deere said the million plate sale will bring in huge production numbers for their company. Right now the company employees 50 people, but the massive sale will give the local business an opportunity to employ up to 10 more.

“We are ecstatic,” Deere said, “We are really happy for Hugh, and for Poly Tech Molding…that’s going to give us the opportunity to create more jobs in the area and just grow with him.”

Both Jarratt and Deere are proud that the taco plate is a local product. Jarratt is a Fayetteville native, the manufacturer is in Northwest Arkansas and many of the raw materials including packaging and dyes come from Fort Smith.

15 comments

  • Sarah 300

    I’ll take two!
    Congratulations Mr. Jarratt and Poly Tech. Local people working together – great partnership.

    • FedUp

      Sarah, doesn’t the success of this business go against your liberal stance against private enterprise?
      Congratulations to everyone involved in the production and sales of this fantastic product. Kudos to Walmart for making this possible without government intervention.

      • Sarah 300

        Don’t put words in my mouth Tom. I am all FOR free enterprise.
        I am against corporations ‘being’ people. A person is one, a corporation is many people.

  • poop

    Idea had been marketed, sold, and around for almost 10 years. Its a novelty. Is it shocking a guy out of 800 that won was from Fayetteville? Touché Walmart.

  • Lindell

    Would you look at that! Jobs being created without the government interfering. I wonder how many more of these success stories we’d see if the free market was allowed to be the free market?

  • Chris

    I bought those exact plates on amazon three months ago. Great idea, I went to walmart to find a taco plate and they didn’t have any so amazon supplied my demand :)

  • Tooth Decay

    Awesome! 10 new minimum wage jobs without benefits through a temporary agency! WONDERFUL NEWS! America has went from making automobiles to making Taco Plates… Brilliant!!!!!

  • Bob Underdown

    Same old story. Company comes up with new product, Company over stretches itself up to sell to Walmart. Walmart buys for a few months while demanding lower and lower prices until the company can barely make a profit. Eventually Walmart demands are too much, the company says they can’t cut their price anymore. Walmart walks away, Company goes bankrupt. It’s happened time and time again right here in NW Arkansas. Another example of modern Free Market capitalism in America,

  • Karen

    Bought these from this same guy at a local craft fair 2-3 years ago. He only had white ones, i told him red or any color for this area would do better. He said yes. I suggested Bulldog or Hawg colors and looks like he agreed. Hope he is thanking his help on the way up the ladder. It is a great idea and i will probably give some as gifts. Congrats Jarrett.

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