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Potato Museum unveils a Sobeys, WP Griffin display

O’LEARY -- The president of the Canadian Potato Museum said Tuesday he’s pleased Sobeys and local supplier W.P. Griffin Inc. are committed to maintaining a potato promotion initiative that has raised $114,500 for the museum over the past three years.

The promotion runs during February, Potato Month. For every 10-pound bag of Heritage Brand potatoes sold in Sobeys stores in Atlantic Canada during February, Sobeys and WP Griffin Inc. donate 25 cents to the museum.

Sobeys sold 458,000 of the 10-pound bags, packed by Griffins, during the last three Potato Month promotions.

MacKendrick said the museum has tapped into the money to install a new heating system and for other upkeep. The money will also be used in creating new exhibits.

On Tuesday potato industry people and museum directors joined with staff from Sobeys and WP Griffin Inc. for an unveiling of a permanent display which acknowledges the two businesses’ contributions to the museum.

Going forward, MacKendrick said other displays will be added. The museum is currently in the planning stages for a display about Robert Gallant’s Howlan blacksmith shop.

Besides the 25-cents-a-bag contribution, the February promotion also incorporates a contest for a chance to win various prizes, including a summer vacation in P.E.I. Museum manager, Donna Rowley, said the winner of this year’s grand prize was in last week to collect her prize.

The museum welcomed its most visitors ever last year, and MacKendrick said attendance this year is on par with last year.

During an unveiling of the Sobeys/WP Griffin Inc. display, Greg Donald noted that if the 458,000 10-pound bags of potatoes sold during the February promotion were stacked end to end, the line would extend from O’Leary to Montague, an indication of the importance of the promotion to the potato industry.

Donald also recognized the importance of the potato museum.

“It is a good way to look at where we’ve come from. As we look ahead to the future, it’s always important that we do that,” Donald said.

Chris Kemp, produce manager for Sobeys, acknowledge WP Griffin Inc.’s role in getting the Potato Museum campaign started, and he thanked the grocery chain’s Atlantic Canada customers for helping to preserve the history of the potato industry through its support of the February promotion.

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