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Comments for: Politicians urge Five Guys to use Maine potatoes

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  • Anonymous

    way to go Delegation…good job at harassing new businesses in Maine. no problem with all the older burger chains buying their potatoes out of State? gotta love politicians who pick on the smallest franchises and tell them how to run their businesses.

    • Haha so true

    • Anonymous

      McDonald’s and Burger Kind do use Maine potatoes. McCain supplies their fries. Just like McDonald’s and Burger King, Five Guys makes their decisions on a national level. Petitioning the owners makes no sense and probably won’t go anywhere. Five Guys has chosen an Idaho burbank potato and, like the other chains, are buying it based on contract pricing and large volume. For them to only buy Maine potatoes at two restaurants makes no sense.

      • Anonymous

        Why limit it to just the two in Maine? Does anyone else see the potential here to work this into a regional supply?

      • Anonymous

        agreed, but I wouldn’t say that too loud…McDonald’s and Burger King serve the worst fries I know of – though I don’t know how much is due to product vs. frying methods.

    • Anonymous

      “good job at harassing new businesses in Maine”

      Yeah, having potatoes trucked across the country is the kind of business we have seen when the “open for business” sorts are in office.

      You can’t try to make bad physics into “good” business and without showing that you do not know about either.

      • Anonymous

        Five Guys has franchises in various parts of the country, and, like all chains, they want a consistent product. Physics is irrelevant to this conversation since purchases are made in bulk, and constancy of product in this industry generally succeeds over transport issues.

        I suspect the owners of Five Guys know how to run their own business without input from Maine Congress Members who know nothing about running a business. Five Guys fries are superior to any others offered by chains in my view – thus, why are these pols trying to fix something that is not broken? Sorry, but I see nothing but grandstanding here by politicians pretending to care about Maine farmers.

  • Yeah, go Maine! Let’s give them a hard time for bringing a new business to Maine. Wow! How sad.

    • Anonymous

      Who is giving them a hard time? Asking them to buy local is not harassment, it is MARKETING!

  • Anonymous

    The last thing a business needs is having a bunch of government-funded politicians direct them. That’s a sure way to failure. Funny, I never knew all of these politicians were gourmet chefs.

  • Anonymous

    Is our Congressional delegation really able to do nothing more than badger the School Lunch program and (now) fast food restaurants, to serve junk-food that is produced locally? I’d rather see Susan Collins demand that my child have California strawberries served with his hot lunch than fried anything from Maine.

    • Anonymous

      DANG! It sure is interesting to watch the liberal spin you try to put on everything!

      It’s funny that you would word your post that way, as it was the liberal/progressive queen of the coast that initiated this and the “pink slime” debacle.

  • Anonymous

    Let me understand this… they put off working on the debt crisis, going off on recess after recess only to finally work on writing a letter to urge a couple of small businesses to buy Maine potatoes.

    • Anonymous

      The letter takes a staffer 5 min to write. The argument that “Man, the fiscal cliff issues would be fixed already if they had only decided not to write this letter” makes no sense at all.

  • All that peanut oil, on Maine potatoes, no continue with their brand. I’ll prefer to go to another burger place.

    • Anonymous

      But i bet you go to WelfareMart even though they dont sell Maine blueberries.

  • Anonymous

    You cant find Maine potatoes or Maine blueberries in any of the Walmarts in Maine, so why the pressure on a new business? Perhaps Idaho potatoes are better than Maine potatoes too.
    FiveGuys potatoes are famous,they are not about to change.

  • Since they do use potatoes from another state when there is a need I don’t see why they couldn’t use Maine potatoes. They even state they prefer to use potatoes grown in northern states. Can’t get much more north than Maine.

    http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/jerry-murrell-five-guys-burgers-and-fries.html

    We try to get our potatoes grown north of the 42nd parallel, which is a pain in the neck. Potatoes are like oak trees — the slower they grow, the more solid they are. We like northern potatoes, because they grow in the daytime when it is warm, but then they stop at night when it cools down.

    http://www.capitalpress.com/idaho/SE-Five-Guys-Idaho-100512

    October 04, 2012

    The fact that Five Guys uses Idaho potatoes is a great thing for the state’s growers, Muir said, but the company’s promotion of the Idaho brand around the nation is equally important.

    “They have captured the importance of the Idaho brand,” he said. “A lot of restaurants that use Idaho potatoes are a little more generic about where their potatoes come from. Five Guys is very upfront about it. When people walk in there, they definitely know where their potatoes are coming from.”

    When the giant Idaho potato truck was making its way across the nation earlier this year, it made a stop in front of the company’s headquarters in Virginia.

    “They are very supportive of what we’re doing and we are very supportive of what they’re doing,” Muir said.

    Five Guys is using about 2.5 million pounds of Idaho potatoes a week and that number is growing quickly, said Rick Miles, owner of Rick Miles Produce in Rigby, Idaho, which provides all the potatoes for Five Guys.

    About 100 Idaho growers provide potatoes to Five Guys and some don’t even know that’s where their potatoes end up, Miles said. While Five Guys prefers to use only Idaho potatoes, some of the spuds sold to the company are sourced from Washington during short spells when Idaho can’t meet the demand.

    “We can’t get enough stuff between the old and new crop to (meet their demand) so we’re sourcing some potatoes from outside of Idaho,” Miles said.

    • Anonymous

      There is a slight difference between a western russet and an eastern russet, due to soil content. Many people, including several Maine businesses, spec the western russet because of its consistency, sugar content, yield and flavor profile. No company that is buying potatoes on contract on a national level is going to swap two locations over, The product would not be the same as at their other locations and there is no price advantage. Besides, depending upon how their contract is worded with their particular potato packer/distributor, they may not have a choice to shop around on potatoes

  • Anonymous

    they are not being told that they HAVE to use maine potatoes! and what is wrong with our elected officials trying to suggest something that could help their constituents? every little bit helps these days.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah , right ??
      Maine Dems giving admonitions to a private business on how to run a business , even though they have about as much experience in running a business as our reelected leader in DC.
      …….If Five Guys was paying attention this would not even
      be discussed.
      Maine grown , of course !!

  • Anonymous

    Dont really see the big deal so long as they are helping out farmers in the good ole U.S of A. Now if they were getting thier products OUT of the country I could see the fuss.

  • Anonymous

    I am guessing the four Maine politicians are trying to put the old squeeze on Fiveguys to cough up some political contributions if they are looking to expand in Maine.
    You didnt see the four politicians asking WALMART to sell Maine made shirts and Maine made shoes when those Maine factories were still open as Walmarts opened up in Maine. That is because WALMART gave and gives political contributions to Snowe and Collins to keep them quiet.

    .

    • Anonymous

      Squeeze? How is asking nicely a “squeeze”? If Davis Oreck asks you nicely to use his vacuum do you feel squeezed? If a politician that you don’t like asks you nicely to vote for them do you feel squeezed? The exaggeration is absurd.

    • Anonymous

      Wal mart does not contribute to Pingree and Michaud, or Democrats in general?

    • Anonymous

      No one gives me anything, I’ll say what I want. :D

  • Admin Person

    Russets are by far the best baking potato. They also make a better fry. Maine farmers mostly grow the Kennebec. It’s all about the starch content.. Sheeple

    • Millicent

      minus the sheeple comment, you are correct that some potatoes are not good for french fries.

    • Anonymous

      You are both wrong.Maine farmers do not grow mostly Kennebecs. They grow mostly Russet Burbanks (Idaho Russets in Idaho, Netted Jems in Canada).
      Russets are the preferred variety due to their length, and the ability to be reconstituted from the frozen state with predictable results.

      Kennebecs were developed in Maine in the late forties and became a staple variety for the potato chip industry because the sugar levels remain the same throughout the entire potato profile as well as having high solids, while the russet tends to vary in sugar content from one end to the other, thus making for a darker product due to the sugar being burned during cooking. Kennebecs have been overshadowed by new varieties developed by chip companies that give them more predictable results in their quest to make the most uniform product that they can. (the Barbie syndrome)

      One western US fast food company, In N Out Burger, makes fresh fries useing only Kennebecs grown as close to the stores as possible.

      *)Interesting profile of a successful company that does not embrace change;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-N-Out_Burger_products#French_fries

      Russets do make a good baking potato, but there are many more varieties that do as well, if not better, depending on one’s tastes.

      • County Escapee

        In the 60’s, it seemed the County grew more varieties than you could shake a stick at. The only one I can remember though is Katahdins and all potatoes were referred to just as either a wet or a dry, boiling or baking. Today’s consumers are much more savvy.

      • Anonymous

        Spoken like a true gentleman and savvy spud farmer. Thank you!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the Tater Education… I believe the Maine Senators and Reps. have the interest of Maine Potato growers in mind. Hopefully 5 Guys can get the exact potato they require from Maine growers.

      • So true, thank you for your correct information. Your comment was interesting. I grew up in the county on a farm.

    • northernmaine

      Oh really? Most farmers in Aroostook County that I’ve dealt with in the past grow some variety of russet potato, round white varieties are not grown anywhere near as much as they used to be. 4 large farmers in my town (500+ acres) grow only russets.

  • Anonymous

    It would seem really stupid for Maine people to be eating Idaho potatoes when much better potatoes are grown in Maine, in Milo, Canton, Bridgewater, Exeter, Stetson, Milton Plantation. Eat local. It’s cheaper, better for you and better for the state you claim to be a native of.

    • Anonymous

      A potato is a potato.

      • Anonymous

        For the only time I can remember, I agree with you. If the Maine potatoes are better and cheaper, being a business, they will make the decision to switch without influence. They are in business to make a profit after all.

  • Anonymous

    Seeing I don’t eat french fires, it is a moot point for me. Where does the beef come from? lol

  • Anonymous

    How about encouraging them to pay a living wage, so the rest of us don’t have to support their employees too. We already have hundreds of burger joints in Maine that are paying “public assistance” wages. Do we really need more?

    • Anonymous

      If you raise the wages, you raise the price of the food to compensate. All you do is increase inflation.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, I know. the $10 hamburger argument. The problem is that flat wages hurt everyone but those at the very top of the economic food chain. I own a small business and I can’t raise my prices to keep pace with inflation, because my customers haven’t seen a raise in their wages for 20 years. My friends own apartment buildings. Their rents are the same they were 20 years ago, even though their costs continue to spiral up. If they went up on their rents, they would have empties. People can’t afford an increase in rent when their paychecks are shrinking. Every small business in Maine is affected by flat wages in one way or another. Big corporate America is doing just fine by paying “public assistance” wages. They are pocketing billions while the tax payers take care of their employees. Small businesses are paying for it.

        • Anonymous

          How DO you stay in business? LOL

          • Anonymous

            Work harder. Put in longer hours. Keep expenses down as much as possible. Get by on less. Same as every other small business in Maine.

      • Millicent

        it’s called the 1% take a cut in their obscene salaries.

        • Anonymous

          Good call. That will encourage people to work hard and be entrepreneurial–take away any incentives. I’m not saying all CEO’s are appropriately compensated. Some times their salaries are exorbitant, but if share holders are okay with that, then that’s how it is. Also, when someone is responsible for 30,000 jobs or 50,000 jobs, the compensation should be commensurate.

          • Millicent

            if we continue to pay people the current minimum wage, we’re not going to see any reductions in money spent on welfare.

            The tax cuts that are about to expire were supposed to create jobs…..we continue like this, those of us who were once middle class are not going to last long and we’ll all be on welfare. That’s called “end game” – a bit like Monopoly. Once you have all the money and all the property there’s nobody left who has any money to spend.

            Those of us in the middle class, and those who are making less, have already made plenty of sacrifices. It’s time for the top to contribute.

          • Anonymous

            The “top” has already made it quite clear that they have no intention of “contributing”. The only jobs they create are banking jobs in the Cayman Islands and manufacturing jobs in China. They are obsessed with cutting social programs, because it doesn’t do any good to get everybody working for minimum wage if they are just going to turn around and eat you up in welfare costs to make ends meet. They want minimum wage with no safety net. Then they can work on lowering the minimum wage down to where the average Chinese worker is. Then, they can move the jobs back here and save themselves the cost of shipping the stuff from China. Yes, they have a plan. Too bad the rest of us don’t.

    • Anonymous

      Do you pay your workers a living wage? What do you defining a “living wage” as?

      • Anonymous

        I do not have employees these days as I have down sized and work by myself. Much less stress and much easier. My last employees were about five years ago when I owned a construction company. I paid my laborers $15 an hour and my drivers and operators more than that. I would never have suffered the embarrassment of having my employees signing up for food stamps after working for me all week. It was a pride thing. Something a lot of employers are lacking these days. I do have a high school kid who helps out about 20 hours a week during my busy season. I pay him $10 an hour, or double LePage’s “training” wage for students.

  • Anonymous

    I buy only Maine potatoes but I would not expect 5 guys to. As long as they are from the USA, I have no issue with it. I WOULD however, like to see this kind of pressure on the larger businesses, like Walmart. I never buy produce from Wally world but…would be willing to buy potatoes or fruit grown in Maine.
    I once picked up a head of lettuce, got to the register and noticed the package said from Mexico! Yukkky! I never looked at the produce there again!
    Produce from Mexico? Really? First thing we are taught when traveling is….Don’t drink the water in Mexico, you will get sick as a dog! So why would I eat anything grown there? Colgate and Crest are made in Mexico to..I switched to Tom’s! Yes, I have become a lable reader! hahahaahahaha

    • County Escapee

      I don’t buy Maine potatoes for several reasons. For years, I would get them at the store here in Mass. and they always came in those heavy white bags. They weren’t visible till you got them home, scrubbed off all the caked on mud and found all the rot. Then I noticed that Idaho’s came in clear plastic bags, clean and of uniform size. My parents didn’t believe me until they came for a visit and I showed them the crap being sent to us down here. When I was picking every fall and bagging them every spring in the tater houses, I never saw that kind of stuff, so maybe we were shipped the seconds. Now, years later,it’s hard to find them in our markets anyway.
      It may be different now, but all potatoes were either sent straight to processing (McCains) or to winter over in a tater house, so consumers couldn’t get a “fresh” potato anyway.

      • northernmaine

        No doubt that was true years ago, but now most farmers put the washed potatoes up in poly bags. With the modern potato houses they have with temperature and humidity controls they can keep potatoes into the following year and you would not know that the spuds weren’t freshly dug.

        • County Escapee

          They were temperature controlled then, too. It was a wood stove front and center. I baked many a spud on those things!
          They have washers and poly bags now? Does this mean there are no spring jobs of bagging, weighing, tying, then carrying out to the RR car?
          Next you’ll be telling me that seed isn’t hand cut anymore! :) Just joking, I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize the operation now. We were just starting to see a harvester here and there back then.

          • northernmaine

            Come on back in the fall and check it out, we even have indoor plumbing here now to :)

          • County Escapee

            We got that when I was 10, but the most radical thing was 2 years later when they started rotary phone service! We could dial our own numbers and didn’t have to count the long and short rings to know if it was for us! “32 ring 6” was for us. (Gawd, I’m ‘only’ 57)
            Enough of that, have a good night :)

      • Anonymous

        My 15 years in Maine, i never found maine blueberries in Maine stores,Not in Walmarts ,hannafords,or mom and pop stores.
        On one of my vacations to CapeCod, Stop and Shop Hyannis had them.

        • County Escapee

          Maybe they can get a better price down here where the Maine label opens wallets: Blueberries, lobster, shrimp…While they are arguably better, I think of the old joke- What’s the difference between squid and calamari? Five bucks a pound!

  • Justin

    It’s sad to see the Maine delegation criticize a business that’s fairly new to Maine when they could instead use it as a great goodwill opportunity for the state. Why not ask, “What can we do to help put Maine potatoes on the Five Guys menu?”

  • Anonymous

    What a marketing opportunity for a national chain. If 5Guys chose local over national sourcing everywhere they did business they probably wouldn’t lose a single customer and they might gain some. They would cut off any potential counter advertising from the competition and act like a responsible local business. Make it a positive thing.

    All the “nay-saying nellies” whining about our elected representatives actually trying to help Maine farmers need to stop looking for only the negative in everything.

  • Anonymous

    This is not what our politicians should be doing. They should be taking care of the pile of work on their desks that they seem to just look over the top of in hopes that it will just go away. This is a business decision and not a political one. Maybe when the company feels that shipping potatoes all those miles in costly then maybe they will shop local. Someone should verify that McCain’s is still supplying MacDonald s i heard the other day that they were not. This is not confirmed only rumor.

  • Anonymous

    Please do not “Push” so hard as to push them away… Lets be happy another company wants to even come to Bangor

  • Tom c

    Have any of you ever had the Fries at Five Guys? Theres a Big Reason why they contract Farmers in Idaho to grow a specific Potato for them. The Potato grown for them blanches and fries easily and leaves a Full flavored taste and isn’t cooked away inside. They Pay extra for this Potato for a Reason. Maine potatos are good, but unfortunetly not this good. It would be great for Maine Farmers if it was possible to sell to them and create a New Market. I know because I’m a Maine Farmer.

  • Anonymous

    California potatoes are the yummiest.

  • Anonymous

    There are now people saying they will not go to the ‘new business to Maine’ because they dont use Maine potatoes.

    Good going Snowe,Collins,Michaud , Pingree, you backwater morons. This is now nationwide news for every company to read that may have been thinking to open in Maine.

    ‘Maine now Open for business but look forward to bad publicity from the State Leaders when you do ‘

  • Anonymous

    Only other thing is to urge people from Maine not to eat their unless the potatoes are from Maine.

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