A Conversation with C3 LLC, Front-end Safety Entrepreneurs
C3 LLC Interview in Produce Show Daily for FMI Connect 2015, 6/8/2015
C3 LLC is a family business committed to making the jobs of people in front-end operations easier, safer and more productive.
We sat down with Kassie Grimes, Account Manager, and her husband, Justin Grimes, Principal, to chat about entrepreneurship, innovation and what they’ve learned as a US manufacturer and vendor-partner for some of the world’s leading grocers and retailers.
Kassie: Whenever I describe our patented C3 Safety Rope, I hear the same thing: “You should appear on Shark Tank!”
Justin: That’s so true! I think it’s because its simplicity makes it an elegant product, and it solves a real problem.
Kassie: People try it for themselves and always have that aha moment.
Justin: Exactly. Also, we love Shark Tank, but it’s an unfortunate myth that entrepreneurs must seek venture capital and acquire debt for success.
Kassie: Starting out, using my parents’ garage as our workshop certainly helped keep expenses down.
Justin: That common narrative of start-ups launching from garages cracks me up—we didn’t even have our own garage at the time.
Produce Show Daily: What’s changed since those early days?
Kassie: Our production, design and sourcing capabilities have come a long way. And establishing Northeast Minneapolis as our headquarters has been a huge asset from a sourcing and design perspective.
Justin: Yeah, you can get anything made in our hometown. Also, growth has been slow and steady, but the C3 Safety Rope has become standard practice among many of the world’s leading grocers and retailers. That’s huge for us.
Produce Show Daily: For the benefit of our readers, can you share why you think the C3 Safety Rope is such a successful safety product?
Justin: Kassie mentioned the “aha” moment, but the C3 Safety Rope simply makes difficult, labor-intensive shopping cart retrieval easier, safer, even faster.
Kassie: My favorite testimonials come from cart attendants who share how glad they are it exists. Several concerned parents have even purchased the C3 Safety Rope for their kids whose first job is collecting carts.
Justin: I love that feedback. Cart retrieval isn’t usually a top priority for most companies, but it’s an integral part of customer service. Getting carts back to the store is physically demanding, and accidents and injuries are frequent. The C3 Safety Rope is a cost-effective way to address these risks.
Produce Show Daily: Thanks for taking time to tell us about your unique company and product.
Kassie: Absolutely! It’s fun reflecting on our company’s past and future, and we’re excited to design new ways to add value to our clients. I love that my husband and I work together. And our employees are truly an extended family.
Justin: I absolutely agree. Just as we care about protecting and empowering our employees in a manufacturing environment, we know work-place safety and productivity is top priority for those attending FMI Connect. We hope they’ll come chat with us.
Visit C3 LLC at booth 2719—west of the FMI Member Lounge—to try the C3 Safety Rope today. Visit C3LLC.com to place an order or write to info@C3LLC.com for more information.