Sam's Club, however, was persistent. The Wal-Mart subsidiary found itself in the unusual position of having to sell itself to a client rather than the other way around. Dighera finally relented. He said he realized that a large partner could help him scale his business. "I've got a lot of other ideas I want to do."
"It aligns with a lot of different items that we have," said Russ Mounce, head of floral and produce for Sam's Club, who admits his first reaction to seeing a Pumpkinstein was, "Is it real?"
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Mounce said Sam's Club specializes in treasure hunts for unique items, like grapes it recently sold that taste like cotton candy. However, they were not going to sell Pumpkinsteins for Dighera's normal price.
"They're not going to be $100, they're going to be less than $30 at Sam's Club this year," said Mounce. "We want a sustainable program." Dighera agreed to the lower price, believing it will make his products a Halloween staple. "If you price it too high, the people in that category will buy it obviously, just because it's unique, but I think it will quickly fade."
Even so, Dighera does not have an exclusive deal with Sam's yet, so this year he is still able to sell Pumpkinsteins in other chains at higher prices. That's if he can meet demand. Last year, Cinagro produced about 5,000 Pumpkinsteins. This year? "We've got orders for probably close to 90,000." To meet that goal, Dighera has begged and borrowed for more land. He has also contracted out to other farmers, giving them his molds and paying them $11 a pumpkin.