There has to be a better way to enjoy food and beverages while socializing at a cocktail party, a business party, a Tailgate party, or any event centered on mobile social food and beverages et al - TrayCups solves this problem.
There has to be a better way to enjoy Bloody Mary's and add more snacks and goodies on top of your drink right? A meal in or on a glass! TrayCups also solves this problem!
What if we invented a product that could do both? Cup holder with a built-in Snack Tray? And so the story begins!
TrayCups started on a napkin like many companies or ideas do. Ralph Allen and Matt Hintz (Co-Founders) were introduced by a mutual friend - Chet Cook (age 81) at the Grand Haven Eagles. Problem - a better way to enjoy cocktail parties and mobile social events like wedding receptions and tailgate parties - holding a drink with one hand and food with the other while networking with colleagues was not efficient and often times difficult; how do you eat and drink when both hands are tied up? Not very well! Hence our idea - create a solution for this problem. TrayCups was born - a multi-purpose party plate with integrated cup holder so one hand is all you needed to hold your favorite food AND drinks - no more juggling act!
Now we had to take this idea from conception to reality - "The Startup".
In early 2017 we began setting up the corporate documents, working to name the new entity (descriptive of what the product does), reserve domain names, Trademarks, Social Media Tags, and lock down our "Brand". We filed for our LLC and TIN/Tax ID, and funded the company with our initial capital contributions! Now it was real $$$. We landed on the name TrayCups as it was descriptive in relation to our "idea" and available! Not easy to find or create new names or brands - so much is already taken or reserved (trademarks and domain names). We made hand made prototypes from Solo/Cups, Duck Tape, Plates, and a Frisbee. Duck Tape works great for everything! Once we settled on a few forms - we needed to produce CAD copies of our make-shift prototypes. Now the meter was running and additional costs began to ring up; engineers, attorneys, design/CAD personnel, and filing fees (More $). It was really exciting to proof out our first real prototypes that were 3D printed - test and rework and then re-print (More $). Finally we landed on our designs and simultaneously we were doing proof of concept - showing friends and family and gaining market feedback and constructive criticism. We entered some startup funding events to gain additional insight and feedback - all of this helped us land on our final designs! Now for the Next Big Step - how do we make these new products? Tools and Manufacturing - where would we source our manufacturing? It was clear that Ralph and Matt wanted to make these new TrayCups in West Michigan - Made in the USA was important and making them in West Michigan also may support local workers! After significant research and networking through the Michigan Inventors Network and Muskegon Inventors Network (MIN), Ralph and Matt landed on Universal Products Inc. in Rockford Michigan to build the steel tool and do the contract injection molding for the new reusable Team Colors TrayCups (multi-colors) and Display Pack in Cedar Springs Michigan to tool and contract manufacture the disposable thermo molded TrayCups. We launched a Facebook post and moved the post to a promotion and received over 650,000 likes - concurrently we launched an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign to do initial sales and proof of concept - we exceeded our sales goal in 2 hours - we knew we were on to something and felt more confident about taking the larger leap - tooling costs!
Now the serious money was needed to fund these options and tools and initial product runs (Lots More $). Ralph and Matt continued to fund the capital needs equally from personal means (savings, family, and friends - borrow). Currently we are in the product launch stage and up on Amazon.com with a few products and selling on our website as we develop more comprehensive marketing plans, launch plans, and sale strategies - strategic marketing planning. To be continued...
We have two formats in the marketplace:
1. TrayCups Disposable Party Plates -Clear TrayCups which serve as a stand-alone party plates simply recycle after use or
2. TrayCups Team Colors (Sleeves) -TrayCups® which are Dishwasher Safe and available in a variety TEN (10) colors or TEAM Colors for TEAM Spirit!
You can buy Disposable TrayCups or TrayCups Team Colors on Amazon.com, Select Retailers, or on our online store www.TrayCups.com.
Made in Michigan (USA).
There are many to thank for their help but none more than Joe Finkler at MIN/Muskegon Inventors Network - Joe's selfless help and aid to aspiring Entrepreneurs is unparalleled! Tiger Studios - CAD, MIN, 5X5 Start Garden, iHeart Radio, WGRD, Good Morning Arizona, ORCA PR - Val and her amazing team, AXIS Labs for our inexpensive prototypes, Bret Buxton - Solid 3D Design & Engineering LLC, Jerry/Ken/Jon et al from UPI/Universal Products Inc., Dave Bult et al from Display Pack, Michigan Inventors Coalition, and so many MORE! Special thank you to Friends, Family, Colleagues, and Connections who continue to help and believe in our mission! We are thankful and appreciative!
Proceeds from the sale of Pink TrayCups goes to the American Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Awareness and Treatments. Because it matters. Ralph lost his Mother to breast cancer August 1, 2016. Too many friends and family have been afflicted. Help us find a cure!
Supporting our local communities and having our products made in America was important to us! Quality products, at great prices, supporting local workers her in the USA. It was also about controlling the quality of our food grade, food safe, food certified, recyclable products - from start to finish - just do things right!
TRAYCUPS LLC d/b/a TrayCups® is an ingenious food and beverage solution for mobile social parties and events; integrated plate (tray) and cup holder for the food and beverage industry - One-hand-wonder plate! One hand is all you need to enjoy your favorite food and drinks – solving an age-old problem where one hand holds a plate of food and the other holds a drink – so you need to find a table or place to set one item down to enjoy both food and drink.
TrayCups® Party Plates solve this problem! We have invented, developed, and patented an integrated food tray and cup holder to make it easier to use just one hand to enjoy your favorite drink and food!
Combine a Plate and a Cup Holder and a Star is Born -> The ingenious and incomparable TrayCups® Party Plates!
TrayCups work great for any social mobile event where drinks and food are served; Tailgate Parties, catering, Wedding Receptions, Backyard BBQs, Sporting Venues/NASCAR/NFL/College Football, Picnics/Potlucks, Home/Entertainment, eSports/Gaming, Camping/RVs, Special/Events, Concessions, Conference Centers, Arenas/Stadiums, Cocktail/Business Parties, Movie Theaters, Schools/Cafeterias, Hospitals, et al. Take your Tailgate/Party UP a Notch with TrayCups®!
TrayCups come in two (2) formats:
1. TrayCups® Disposable Party Plates with integrated Plate and Cup Holder for social mobile events or catering where cleanup needs to be quick and easy, Eco-friendly recyclable, light clear and durable, and easy to use. Genius is the word that most often associated with TrayCups® Disposable Party Plates!
2. TrayCups® Team Colors Party Plates – Ten (10) assorted colors for Team Spirit at College Football Games, the NFL, NASCAR, Sporting Events, or just for fun! Team Colors are Highly Durability, Dishwasher Safe (top or bottom rack), can be used as a Frisbee or Bloody Mary Buddy, and Eco-friendly recycled plastics.
BONUS -> TrayCups® Disposable Party Plates and TrayCups® Team Colors fully integrate; TrayCups® Disposable’s seat (insert) perfectly inside the TrayCups® Team Colors.
· TrayCups are extremely ergonomic and comfortable to hold and use – we don’t change the way people hold their drinks – we simply add an integrated tray or plate to make it easier to enjoy both food and beverage with one hand.
· TrayCups® are fun for the whole family and multi-purpose; Bloody Mary’s, Mixed Drinks, Beer, Wine, Soda/Pop, Water, Milk, Juice, and so much.
· TrayCups® fit almost any standard cup, pint glass, Solo Cup, Styrofoam cup, coffee cup Dixie cup, Starbuck’s cups, bottle of water, yogurt cup, beer/soda can, beer/bottle, plastic wine glass, et al.
· TrayCups® are not age or gender biased – anyone who can eat on their own can utilize TrayCups® Party Plates!
· TrayCups® were designed, engineered, patented, and trademarked.
· TrayCups® are made in the USA (West Michigan).
· TrayCups® are Eco-friendly, recyclable, and food certified.
· TrayCups® are highly durable and Team Colors are dishwasher safe.
· TrayCups® allow one hand to be free to eat or drink, talk with your hands, use your mobile devices, or play bean-bag-toss, grilling, changing channels on TV, driving, entertaining, etc.