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Locally Laid returns to the coop

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Last Thursday afternoon, the word came in at last — Locally Laid, a home-based egg company from Wrenshall, had been selected as the runner up to the big winner in Intuit’s Small Business Big Game contest. The top choice was GoldieBlox, a California toy company manufacturing engineering-based toys for girls.

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“Friends, I hate to tell you this…,” wrote Locally Laid’s “chief spokes chick” Lucie Amundsen on the company’s Facebook page Thursday night. “We didn’t win the 30-second spot on the Super Bowl (the top prize in the competition). Sure, we wish LoLa could strut her sassy self in the third quarter, but it’s okay. Honestly, it’s much better than that!”

Locally Laid was selected as one of the Final Four in the national competition based on public voting last December. Amundsen and her husband Jason were treated to an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for the final results last week.

Lucie arrived in New York on Wednesday (Jason was at a national poultry convention in Atlanta). That night she was able to get together with the other three finalists — Barley Labs All-Natural Dod Treats, POOP Natural Dairy Compost and GoldieBlox.

“Although we all have different products, we have lots in common when it comes to the ups and down of start-ups. Great crew!” she commented.

Then, on Thursday morning Lucie taped a brief segment for Fox Business News to air later that day. Jason was able to join her in time for the big announcement that night, and the two enjoyed touring around New York City, seeing the sights, and were treated to a Super Bowl party at their hotel on Sunday.

On Monday morning, they were invited to help ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange, along with the other three finalists, and a giant image of Lucie and Jason holding Locally Laid egg cartons was projected outside in Times Square.

“Don’t worry about us getting big heads,” Lucie commented to Facebook fans of the three-story image. “Wednesday morning it’s back to the egg van, deliveries and mucking coops!”

The Amundsens said the experience turned into the trip of a lifetime.

“We ran a fun campaign and are incredibly proud of the stir you kicked up trying to Hail Mary a chicken into the world’s largest football spectacle,” said Lucie to the many who voted for them. “And you did an impressive job. The PR firm working with Intuit says that Locally Laid got media impressions that number in the billions — that’s billions with a B! That’s a whole lot of attention for a retro egg, a pasture-raised bird and the little company trying to do her right. Plus it was good for Duluth, good for Minnesota and good for farmers raising Real Food everywhere.”