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Walmart picks up Mesa man's invention to sell nationwide

Posted at 9:25 AM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-27 11:25:32-05

MESA, AZ — Grant Pearce is a 5th generation Arizonan who spends a lot of time by the water. "I've been fishing my whole life, probably caught my first fish at the age of three or four," Pearce said.

He turned that love for fish into a career, working full time as a fisheries biologist. He also enjoys teaching others how to fish, but says he noticed a common problem.

"There's nothing worse than trying to help a kid or an adult catch their first fish and they go to the lake and they don't have that experience where they get a bite and they get that experience of actually catching a fish," he said.

Pearce says while using a laundry pod to do his laundry, he came up with an idea. By putting bait inside of water-soluble pods, he created ChumPODS.

Video he provided shows how the pod dissolves in the water and the bait spills out, surrounding the hook, making fish more likely to notice it. Pearce says he started making prototypes in his garage.

"I would just start giving them away to fishermen, people I knew would come to the lake and use them," Pearce said.

He even landed a call with Walmart executives through their program called Walmart Open Call, where the company invites entrepreneurs to pitch their product in hopes of getting it on their shelves.

But that big meeting was almost interrupted when Pearce says his wife, who was expecting their first child, almost went into labor.

"We had a little bit of a scare there, but the kid held on for another 24 hours or so and 12 hours after the meeting, we ended up going to the hospital and our son was born the day after the meeting," Pearce said.

Pearce soon learned that ChumPODS would be hitting store shelves in some Walmart stores starting in the spring of 2021, an accomplishment sure to make his newborn son proud.

"It's pretty exciting," Pearce said. "I feel pretty blessed and I'm really looking forward to seeing what's ahead."