July 3, 2019
Have you ever eaten a food, and then kept thinking about it? Whether it was your mom’s lasagna, or sugary snap peas right off the vine, maybe you’re one of us who can’t get something tasty out of your head, and your constant remembering borders on obsession.
That’s what started a small Alberta business, that has since grown to a North American enterprise. The Little Potato Company’s co-founder Jacob van der Schaaf loved the creamy, tasty small potatoes he remembered from his childhood in the Netherlands, but he couldn’t find them anywhere locally.
"He pitched the idea to his daughter Angela Santiago that they should grow their own here in northern Alberta; they basically started with shovels and a dream," shares Jeanette LeBlanc, content manager of The Little Potato Company. "Together they planted, weeded, then harvested that first crop by hand. They even washed them in the bathtub of their home! They wanted to share these nutritious and delicious vegetables with others so they started selling them in farmers markets and through word of mouth. They quickly became a favourite among chefs and cooks and people that had been picking them up at the market. The Little Potato company was born."
Santiago continues to lead the company as CEO and co-founder today.
You've likely noticed The Little Potato Company's small but bright and bold bags in the produce section of your neighbourhood Calgary Co-op store. The company supplies numerous varietals of Creamer potatoes, and Fingerling potatoes to Co-op. Look for The Little Potato Company’s Creamer potato options from Boomer Gold, to Terrific Trio, and Blushing Belle. There’s also Fingerlings, and Microwave Ready kits in Savoury Herb and Garlic Parsley flavour, and Oven/BBQ Ready in Onion & Chive or Garlic Herb flavours too.
But what exactly is a Creamer potato?
Despite what the name may lead you to believe, these aren't made solely for mashing or soup. Creamer potatoes are a type of potato; the smallest variety in the potato family, Creamers aren't harvested young, they're bred to be little, similar to the way cherry tomatoes are just a tinier variety in the tomato family. Unlike many other types of potatoes, Creamers are meant to be eaten with their naturally tasty and nutritious skins on, and thanks to the popularity of these potatoes, the family company quickly upgraded from their original bathtub, to dedicated processing plants (one in Edmonton and one in Wisconsin, USA) to offer pre-washed Creamer potatoes so there's also no cleaning required!
"We work together with our farmers, to ensure we’re using precious farmland responsibly to get the most nutritious, delicious Creamer potatoes from the least amount of acres," offers LeBlanc on the subject of The Little Potato Company's growing practices, "We use the best practices to feed and water the potato plants and maintain soil quality. In other words, we let nature grow our little potatoes, and only control what needs to be controlled. We grow our unique varietals of Creamer potatoes in a way that is healthy and nourishing from farm to plate."
The Little Potato Company Creamers are consistently sized in each package so every single one cooks to the same ‘doneness’ too; perfect for busy evenings. But above all, these potatoes are prized for their naturally tasty flavour and perfect texture; no graininess, no mushiness. Just wholesome flavour and consistency.
"The potato often has this perception that it has a bland flavour and that you have to smother it in cheese and other things to make it taste good," says LeBlanc. "But these potatoes taste good all on their own. They're high quality, great tasting and we grow them in many different colourful varietals. The Creamer potato is not your average potato, and we're not your average potato company!"
LeBlanc says The Little Potato Company's Creamer potatoes are a 'super vegetable' that's naturally loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, and is fat, cholesterol, sodium, and gluten free. Plus, the convenient grab-and-go 1.5 lb size means you can buy only what you need for a meal or two, and not have eight more pounds of potatoes going to waste. When you're out, it's time to get more fresh Creamer potatoes from your local grocery store.
"The Little Potato Company has been working with Calgary Co-op for more than 14 years. We’re proud to work with retailers who share in our values, like Calgary Co-op does, to help the community and planet, and providing local fresh produce to your customers."
Find The Little Potato Company's Creamer potatoes in the produce section at your neighbourhood Co-op store. Read more about the company here.
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