Q. I am in the planning stages of starting a small business of selling baked stuffed potatoes at local fairs here in Massachusetts. My vision is to incorporate small concessions stands and the possibility of a food truck version all using Idaho grown potatoes I am writing in hopes that you may have ideas or helpful information on potato distributors or equipment vendors. I have found only a few LP Baked Potato cookers and they are all manufactured and sold overseas, anything in the states?
A. The equipment you are referring to is only available from Europe; however, sometimes you can find them on e-Bay. They were generally used as a potato kiosk. Convection ovens work just fine for baking potatoes evenly. They are more expensive that conventional ovens but can easily handle volume, cook uniformly and result in a crispy outer skin. If you have a lot more money, you can buy some of the Rational ovens which speed up the cooking quite a bit.
Just look in the yellow pages for foodservice distributors. Some that come to mind are Costa and Sysco, but there are many servicing the area as well as a strong terminal market in Boston.