Classic Demos

Posted - May 9, 2001 at 1:04 p.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

A trip to the grocery store on a busy shopping day may be crowded but it's also a good time to sample some of the latest products. I've often tried the samples and some of those demonstrations have led me to purchase the products. It's a great idea and one that makes the shopping experience worthwhile.

Well, I've learned that there's a Utah business behind those product demonstrations. It's called Classic Demos, and it's found a niche in fulfilling promotion requests for food brokers, product manufacturers and grocery stores.

Judy Bell, who is originally from Duchesne, founded the company nearly 20 years ago. Her education from Utah State University provided her with valuable skills in communication and business administration. As a young mother, Judy supported her husband's career in healthcare administration and always sought opportunities to supplement her family's income. It was in 1981, while living in Cedar City, that Judy entered the world of product demonstrations. She helped a neighbor by taking a weekend soft drink demo at the local grocery store. Judy did such a good job that the soft drink company asked her to do more demos. Then other food brokers wanted her, and soon Judy was asking her friends and neighbors to help.

Like other entrepreneurs, Judy saw opportunity in those demands for demonstrations. So, she decided to make the big leap and start a business. All she needed was a little capital, and that she got from cashing a $1,000 life insurance policy her parents had given her when she married. With funding, Judy soon had her business running.

Now, classic Demos has grown from a small home-based business doing a half dozen demos a week to a company that provides thousands of demos each month in nine Western states for local as well as national brokers. The company has also added divisions for merchandising and mystery shopping. All of that adds up to $3 million a year in business.

Well, Judy Bell certainly made good use of the money from that little life insurance policy. She and her product demonstration business make a classic tale of business success.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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