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Wal-Mart promotes Wheeling-based firm

Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo by Joselyn King  Lisa Allen, chief executive officer of the Ziegenfelder Co. in Wheeling, sits in front of a montage of products produced by her company.
Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo by Joselyn King
Lisa Allen, chief executive officer of the Ziegenfelder Co. in Wheeling, sits in front of a montage of products produced by her company.

WHEELING, W.Va. — The Ziegenfelder Co. in Wheeling – home of “Budget Saver Pops” – is owned by a woman, and soon the rest of the nation will know it when they shop for frozen treats at Wal-Mart this summer.

Ziegenfelder received designation as a female-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council in 2014, giving it the right to place a “Woman Owned” logo on its packaging to inform the public, said owner and chief executive officer Lisa Allen.

Now, Ziegenfelder is among six women-owned companies Wal-Mart has selected to promote this month through signage in its stores nationwide.

Others include Milo’s Tea, Jelmar CLR Remover, Hefty Wastebaskets, Carter’s Newborn Shoes and Ariela and Associates Smart and Sexy Bras.

“A lot of opportunity emerges from this recognition,” Allen said. “It helps to grow our business. It helps to create awareness in the community that our products are made by a company that is woman owned.”

And getting the support of females is necessary for a product, according to research conducted by Wal-Mart. The company estimates women-owned businesses contribute more than $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy, and women are responsible for 80 percent of shopping decisions.

“Moms are usually the shoppers, and knowing the product they are buying is made by a woman-owned company is significant,” Allen said. “It makes them feel good about their product – that it’s more wholesome. That’s the information Wal-Mart gave to us.”

Today, Allen oversees a family business that was established in the 1940s by her grandfather, Abe Lando, who first started to sell frozen twin pops from an ice cream shop in Wheeling during the 1940s. Her father, Charles Lando, took over the business in 1955, and ran it for nearly 60 years.

Allen has served as CEO of Ziegenfelder since 2003, but she says she did not apply for the “women owned” designation from the council until 2014, as she and company executives were instead busy growing the business.

Ziegenfelder has about 300 employees working in its three plants located in Wheeling, Denver and Chino, Calif.

The company had to provide the council with information pertaining to its history, its business plan and its financial records.

“To think, what we’ve done here at Ziegenfelder can be a motivation for someone to take a risk,” Allen said. “What we do can give me the opportunity to mentor young women to follow their dreams and not be intimidated by the business world. If I can help someone else take a risk, I will do that every day.”

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