By Andy Greder
A northeastern Minnesota startup that produces eggs from pasture-raised hens could be sitting on a golden egg.
Locally Laid Egg Company, about 25 miles outside of Duluth, announced recently that its 15-month-old business is one of four finalists for a professional TV commercial to air during the Super Bowl.
Married co-owners Jason and Lucie Amundsen say its ethos of providing eggs from humanely raised birds fed non-GMO grain drove its charmed status among the initial 15,000 entries.
In October, Locally Laid was named one of 20 semifinalists in the contest from Intuit QuickBooks.
“This has to be screwed up. Our little company can’t be doing this well,” Amundsen says of the 2,500 hens producing for some 30 locations, including about 15 in the Twin Cities metro.
Then, on a chilly and snowy day in early November, an entourage of slick-dressed businessmen and a camera crew arrived, via a private jet, at the farm in Wrenshall. Bill Rancic, winner on “The Apprentice” and best-selling author, emerged, high-fived Amundsen and told him he was a finalist. “I was too stupid and too cold to have any emotive response,” Amundsen jokes. Until Dec. 1, public voting at smallbusinessbiggame.com will determine the winner.