MERIDIAN, Idaho -- Here in downtown Meridian, workers at Dynamite Specialty Products manufacture vitamin-mineral supplements for pets and livestock inside the notable Zamzow's Mill.
Dynamite employs 27 workers in Idaho, and 24 in Iowa. The company does $12 to $15 million in sales each year. They sell throughout the United States, and export to Canada, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Chief Operating Officer Jos Zamzow says the next step is Russia.
"I think we could realistically double our international sales, by dipping our toe into the Russian market," Zamzow said.
"The market for Russia is unbelievable," Zamzow told KTVB, saying his research shows it's the second largest pet market in the word. He says Russia also boasts the highest-average consumer income for developing countries in what's known as the BRIC -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Dynamite was one of 17 companies invited on a 10-day trade mission to Russia with Idaho's Governor two weeks ago. The commission returned to the United States on Saturday.
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says the trip was a big success.
"Everybody there sold something and made some great contacts," Otter told KTVB.
Idaho's delegation toured Moscow and St. Petersburg. They met with business leaders in agriculture, livestock and technology.
Otter says the goal was to make a good impression.
"The ambassador told me ... 'I know you guys are here at the right time with the right message, and the right people. You're going to be a big hit,' and we were," Otter said.
Specifically, the governor mentioned several tentative trade agreements, including a 1,500-acre agricultural development that includes potatoes and Idaho potato technology.
Meanwhile, here in Meridian, Zamzow is thankful for the opportunity. He says the governor's leadership is key to bridging the gap between his company and customers in Russia.
"Sometimes, you forget he was one heck of a businessman before he got involved in politics, and his experience as a businessman really came through," Zamzow said, "... he attended a meeting with one of our potential customers, and it was really an asset to have him there."
The Governor has asked members of the trade mission to report back to him after going over the contacts they've made in Russia. He expects to have that followup in the coming weeks.