Island potatoes set new record

Ryan Ross
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If you want to beat Idaho at the potato game you’re going to want a lot of spuds.

That’s exactly what a Charlottetown Sobeys got when it set up what should be a record-setting display Wednesday, complete with 92,000 pounds of potatoes.

Derek MacLeod, produce manager for the University Avenue store, said Sobeys decided to break the record because the Island is known for potatoes and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

“We wanted to do something just a little different,” he said.

A market in Spanish Forks, Utah was the record holder with an 80,000-pound display.

To break the record, MacLeod, other produce managers from Sobeys across the Island and staff from the University Avenue store started work on the display around 9 a.m. to line up 32 pallets of potatoes two rows deep.

By the time they were done around 12 p.m. there were 9,200 10-pound bags on display.

The Charlottetown store isn’t the first Sobeys to break a food display record.

MacLeod said the idea came from a store in Halifax that broke a record for a watermelon display about two months ago.

With so many potatoes around, Sobeys is putting them on sale and spreading them around to its Island stores.

MacLeod said his store normally sells about 500 10-pound bags and more than 400 five-pound bags in the run of a week.

As for the record, it’s not official because Guinness World Records wasn’t on hand, although MacLeod said there is still a process the store will go through to possibly get it certified.

“We wanted to do something just a little different,” Derek MacLeod, produce manager for the University Avenue Sobeys

“For the sake of it, it is currently the world record,” he said.

MacLeod said he hopes Guinness World Records will make it official before someone in Idaho tries to outdo them.

“We figure if Idaho comes back at it next year or any time in the near future we’re thinking maybe a hundred thousand pounds might be a good goal next year,” he said.

MacLeod said breaking the record was an honour for Sobeys and the P.E.I. Potato Board.

“It’s definitely a win-win situation for everyone involved,” he said.

Kendra Mills, marketing manager for the P.E.I. Potato Board, said there is a friendly rivalry between P.E.I. and Idaho when it comes to potatoes so it was good to see the Island set a new record.

“They’re always sort of stealing the thunder when it comes to stuff like this so it’s nice to be able to show them what we’re made of and do something fun like this in our own backyard,” she said.

Mills described this year’s potato crop as “variable” with a mix of dry and wet conditions.

With most of the Island’s crop leaving the province, Mills said it’s nice to do something like the record in P.E.I. to remind people how important the industry is.

“Just have a lot of fun doing it on P.E.I.,” she said.


Organizations: Sobeys, Guinness World Records, P.E.I. Potato Board

Geographic location: Idaho, Iceland, Spanish Forks Utah Charlottetown Halifax

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Recent comments

  • Ivan Drago
    October 04, 2012 - 10:29

    Congrats Dirk! Way to go! Lookin Gooood!

  • Isaac
    October 04, 2012 - 08:57

    Not to perpetuate stereotypes or anything...