Bearing down to business: Flagstaff woman develops new canister to keep paws away from food on the trail | Local

Grubcan did, indeed, get that seal of approval — the final step in a dizzying entrepreneurial journey that saw Jaleski take a kernel of an idea born of backpacking frustration in 2018 and eventually turn it into a thriving business.

It is quite a success story.

Jaleski once worked as a clerk at the Flagstaff REI outlet and, after developing schematics and prototypes with Jim, an engineer, and learning the marketing and manufacturing end working with the Flagstaff-based business incubator nonprofit, Moonshot, Jaleski eventually found herself in Seattle at REI’s corporate offices ready to make a pitch to have the giant outdoors retailer carry the Grubcan.

Jaleski had entered a nationwide REI innovator contest and was selected as one of 355 finalists to meet with the corporation’s buyers. In the video she prepared for the competition, did Jaleski mention that, by the way, she was an REI floorperson?

“Oh, of course, I used that,” Jaleski said. “In…

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