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Erie’s ReCap Mason Jars reaches deal for Walmart distribution

Looking back, Karen Rzepecki, founder of Erie-based ReCap Mason Jars, wishes she had savored her early success just a bit more.

After all, her business, which makes and markets reusable plastic lids and spouts that replace the two-piece metal lids on Mason jars, was classified as an Amazon top-seller by the end of her first year in business.

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Rzepecki said she didn’t realize what a big deal that was at the time.

Ten years later, the 60-year-old Venango Township woman, whose company has sold upwards of 1 million units, is determined to fully appreciate her recent success.

And there is reason to celebrate.

Reaching a deal

After being invited twice in the past to make a personal pitch to a Walmart corporate buyer, ReCap was invited back again a few weeks ago, this time for a virtual meeting that Rzepecki conducted from her kitchen.

The third time proved to be the charm.

Details haven’t all been finalized, but the world’s largest retailer has agreed to buy her line of products, which include pour lids, strainers, sprayers and pump caps.

It was different this time, Rzepecki said of his pitch meeting.

She felt confident and comfortable. And thanks to the past guidance of the Home Shopping Network, where she honed her sales pitch for television appearances, she knew exactly what she wanted to say and how she wanted to say it.

And ReCap and Walmart were able to agree on a price.

Rzepecki, whose products start at $8.99, said she never considered having her products made in another country, even if she could have saved money.

“Our price point is (based on) made in the USA,” she said. “On tooling alone, I have probably spent $1 million. I can’t compete with China on prices.”

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