‘The Little Potato Company that could…’ – Canadian specialty company opens first U.S. potato-processing facility

Image result for angela santiago little potato companyMany parents might recall reading a book to their children called “The Little Engine that Could,” sometimes over and over again. It’s a story of a small train that tries its best to bring toys to children on the other side of a hill. The story of The Little Potato Company is somewhat like that… Angela Santiago, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, and her father and co-founder, Jacob (Jake) van der Schaaf, were told more than once that no one would want the small potatoes they were hoping to market, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing their dream. The Little Potato Co. celebrated the grand opening of its new U.S. processing facility in Wisconsin on July 27. The $20 million facility is building up steam to supply pint-sized potatoes to consumers across much of the country. The company specializes in creamer (baby/salad) potatoes – potatoes that mature at a smaller size than potatoes that are usually found in a grocery bag. Demand for the potatoes has grown exponentially since van der Schaaf came up with the idea a little more than 20 years ago and convinced his daughter to join him in the effort. Van der Schaaf, a Dutch immigrant, longed for the small creamer potatoes he had eaten as a youngster, so in 1996, he suggested to his daughter that they test out the market for little potatoes. More