When shopping in Montana, there's a certain amount of pride a person can feel when they pick up a product and see a Made in Montana sticker. This has come to include Grown in Montana and Native American Made in Montana too. With so many artisans, growers, and producers in Montana, this program through the Montana Department of Commerce helps to shine a light on the valuable small businesses in our state.

Along with the opportunity to be identified as a producer of Made in Montana products, there is an annual trade show that has celebrated the quality of Montana businesses for decades.

What It Means to be Made in Montana

My coworker, KC, has owned a small business in Montana for five years and has attended the Made in Montana Trade Show three times. He says that being identified as Made in Montana has helped his business.

"For me, the Made in Montana logo is just as significant as the Nike swish when it comes to branding. Montana itself is a brand that sells all over the world. Just having Montana as part of your brand makes it automatically marketable."

KC's business sells dehydrated soup to hunters and as novelty gifts.

"I created it because it was a family joke that snowballed," KC said. "My brother and I were sitting on the side of the mountain glassing and said, 'Wouldn't it be funny if someone made Tag Soup and it was edible? Like an edible hunting permit." And then the joke became reality.

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Participating in the Made in Montana Trade Show

KC says that it's easy to get signed up and become a member of Made in Montana through the Montana Department of Commerce. The trade is a different story.

"It's hard to get into the show because it's so popular," KC says.

In 2023, according to the Trade Show guide, there appeared to be over 800 booths.

And from among those, another local business, The Last Best Store, was named 2023 Made in Montana Retailer of the Year Award. You can see the announcement below.

The Last Best Store is located inside Southgate Mall and has only been open for a little over a year now. 

As noted above, the store has creations from over 100 local artists.

Contragruations to The Last Best Store! To see more of the products offered by the Last Best Store, visit their Instagram page or website.

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