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Market of Choice Touts MOJO Program for Local Makers

Still going strong in its 7th year, initiative enables Oregon entrepreneurs to succeed
Market of Choice Ground Up Main Image
Since Ground Up joined Market of Choice's MOJO program, the company's nut butters have rolled out to 1,000-plus retail stores in the Pacific Northwest and California. Pictured is Ground Up co-founder Julie Sullivan Loos.

Oregon independent grocer Market of Choice is marking the seventh anniversary of its MOJO program, a signature initiative that has nurtured thousands of partnerships with food and beverage makers in the state. Since it began in 2017, MOJO has provided a launchpad for local entrepreneurs to jump-start their businesses, helping them bring products to market.

“We are deeply committed to supporting local makers and fostering the growth of Oregon's vibrant food community," noted John Boyle, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Eugene-based Market of Choice. “Our MOJO program not only provides a platform for makers to showcase their products across Oregon, but also contributes to the economic health and sustainability of our region.”

[RELATED: New Seasons Market Debuts Sensory Friendly Hour]

Market of Choice has supported local makers since it was founded 45 years ago and currently carries 7,000-plus local products at its stores – about 15% of its total assortment. Portland Pet Food Co., Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, Ground Up and Tropink (formerly Pink Cloud Beverages) are just some of the makers that have scaled successfully with Market of Choice’s assistance.

Many makers depend on Market of Choice to distribute their products. The grocer has streamlined the process by providing centralized distribution points in Eugene, Portland, Corvallis, Bend and Ashland, Ore. A maker can take its product to a distribution point, and Market of Choice will distribute the product to all of its stores at no charge, saving entrepreneurs time and money.

In makers’ first year on its shelves, Market of Choice’s “Full Potential Promise” includes quarterly promotions, content creation and in-store sampling events for MOJO products, in which the grocer absorbs the costs of all discounts and promotions.

As a result of such assistance:

  • Portland Pet Food Co. is now in more than 5,700 stores nationally, as well as stores in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. 
  • Pan’s Mushroom Jerky is in 2,000-plus stores nationwide, including a rotation with Costco, and was funded by Shark Tank.
  • In under two years, Tropink has expanded into more than 100 locations throughout Oregon. Sales have grown by double digits year over year, and it continues to donate 1% of gross sales back into the local community through its 1% For The Planet commitment.
  • Ground Up’s nut butters are in 1,000-plus retail stores in the Pacific Northwest and California. Further, the company offers job skills training to women overcoming adversity. Since 2016, more than 80 women have graduated and attained their employment goals.

Market of Choice’s MOJO enrollees and Oregon makers generated millions in sales between March 1, 2023, and March 1, 2024. Additionally, since 2020, the grocer has carried more than 2,500 products from BIPOC, women-owned and LGBTQ+ makers.

Founded in 1979, Market of Choice is Oregon’s largest family-owned, independent grocer, with 11 stores located throughout the state. 

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