Pineland Farms Potato Co signs with Sam's Club

Pineland Farms Potato Co announced on Thursday that it has signed a contract to supply 28 Sam's Club Stores with its refrigerated potato products.

Rodney McCrum, president and chief operating officer of Pineland Farms Potato Co., said delivery of the company's products to Sam's Club stores would begin within a month. "It's a foot in the door for us," he said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. "Our hope is that we expand into more Sam's Club stores in the future," he said.

He's hopeful it will lead to additional opportunities with the Walmart division that reported revenues of $58 billion in fiscal year 2015 and has 649 stores nationwide. "This new partnership will help us continue to create jobs for young men and women across Aroostook County," he said.

The company also launched a $3 million upgrade of its mashed potato production line this year, he added.

McCrum reported the company's employment now stands at 180 workers, with 60 new jobs added since August 2014, and noted sales are running 38% ahead of the same period a year ago.

Pineland Farms' mashed potatoes are served in Applebee's, Logan's Roadhouse, 99 Restaurant & Pub, O'Charley's, Pizzeria Uno and Famous Dave's. Packaged mashed potatoes and cut potatoes bearing the Pineland Farms brand are sold in supermarkets like Publix, Hannaford, Market Basket, Shop Rite and Big Y.

Collins said in the release that the contract showcases the best of Maine — "all-natural ingredients and small-scale agriculture" — and expands Pineland Farms' reaching into supermarkets throughout New England.

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