Potato Coop is a fast casual American restaurant and premium food truck serving high quality American fare. I am Allen Peck Jr, founder and President of the Potato Coop. This is my story.
I was born and raised in the small town of Duncannon just outside of Harrisburg, PA and graduated from Susquenita High School. Perry County is a blue-collar area with hard working, but financially struggling families. I wanted to do something with my life that would put me in a position to provide better opportunities for my family, friends, and community. Like most kids, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I knew what I didn’t want to do.
I wasn’t a highly motivated student, and it didn’t seem like college was affordable. When I looked around, it wasn’t college educated or hard working blue collar folk who were living the life I wanted to. It was the people who built businesses and investors who seemed to have life figured out. I was convinced that nothing could stop this kid, who was filled with an entrepreneurial spirit, and had the Internet at my disposal. I started studying successful people and reading every book they recommended. It wasn’t long until I had a notebook full of business ideas and the path to success seemed to be illuminated.
My grand idea was flavored fresh cut fries. While I had a ton of business ideas, I ultimately moved forward with fresh cut fries for one main reason: “I never met anyone who doesn’t like fries!”. I started researching how to make the PERFECT crispy fresh cut fries. Luckily, I had plenty of family and friends who were up for the task of taste testing. After trial and error, I came up with a recipe that people LOVE. So after high school, I got busy writing a business plan.
I purchased a brand new trailer, and with the help of my father and grandfather, we constructed it to serve fresh cut fries and hit the streets of Harrisburg, PA. It wasn’t much longer until our famous loaded fries were added to the menu. As the Potato Coop’s popularity grew, I was able to upgrade to a full-service food truck where we could serve an even larger menu. That led to opportunities to cater weddings, business lunches, private parties and much more.
With explosive growth, we outgrew our warehouse and are opening our first restaurant, not only to provide a stationary location that our customers can easily find us, but to act as a base of operations for the food truck.
The goal has always been to create a duplicatable business system that can be franchised to empower other entrepreneurs to create passive income and live the life they truly desire. The business plan is to systematically open new restaurants and food trucks from coast to coast. We are executing on the plan by perfecting business processes and procedures, developing a team of core employees and selling a TON of fries! I promise that we will continue to strive for excellence in everything we do.
I thought that it would take a fraction of the time it took to accomplish what we have. I have become familiar with the many obstacles that small business owners are inundated with on a daily basis. Just because my path to success was illuminated doesn’t mean it wasn’t rocky. The key to staying motivated is having a crystal clear big picture and keep pushing forward.
This isn’t the end of the story, but a continued journey. I look forward to opening more Potato Coop restaurants and food trucks across America, while offering franchise opportunities for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
P.S. I still haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like fries!