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Last Update: Saturday September 25, 2021

Integrity, Courage, Tenacity and a Bit of Genius

Gary Walls, a thoughtful, gentle man


Portland, Oregon: Trailblazer Foods makes jams, preserves, syrups, toppings and pie fillings. A former school teacher and football coach who suffered from kidney disease, Gary had to resign because students carry cold and flu germs that his weakened immune system could not fight.

In just 10 years Gary Walls turned his love into a $12 million dollar business employing over 60 people. In this episode we take you from the source -- beautiful berry fields throughout Oregon -- to the finished product. For his success in building a business and for championing the export of Oregon's wonderful fruit, the Small Business Administration named Gary Small Business Person of the Year for Oregon.

Though the face of small business is diverse...

there are common qualities!

On this website you get real inspiration, insights and ideation from actual business owners who are loved in their community and respected within their industry. Every one works everyday to make this world a better place.

Do What You Love

5:22 | Play Now | The founder has been picking and cooking up Oregon berries since he was tall enough to stir a pot in his Mom's kitchen.

Reinvent Your Life

2:45 | Play Now | Gary Walls' poor health forced him out of teaching so surprisingly he became an entrepreneur who built a strong company.

Invest Sweat and All Your Cash

2:54 | Play Now | Gary Walls invested all of his own cash and all of his time to get his company off the ground.

Let Customers Tell You What to Make

1:30 | Play Now |   Smart business owners listen to customers and take action on what they say.

Hire People You Know

3:41 | Play Now |  Gary Walls found success early because he had plenty of friends to hire.

Look on the Bright Side

3:32 | Play Now | 

Gary Walls' life was an inspiration to us all who don't appreciate what we have.  He proved that optimism is attractive and will win you customers, employees and loyal suppliers.

This episode is a a tribute to a life well lived.

When we taped this show, Gary had physical limitations. He paced himself. But in August 2001, Gary died and left this wonderful legacy to his immediate family, his family of employees, his family of customers and suppliers, and his largest family, the world. Surely you will see why by tasting value, you also have an after-taste that profits many. For Gary Walls, it is a taste that is tangibly intangible. It may first be in the taste of the berry; it is also in a taste for life's greatest blessings.