Eagle, ID, October 25, 2006 – Pat Vezertzis didn't enter the Idaho Potato Commission's annual dehydrated potatoes promotion to win prizes – in fact, he didn't even remember there were prizes. He entered because the IPC was offering a savings of $3 on every case of dehydrated Idaho potato products purchased at the retail price in a three-month period … and Pat uses A LOT of dehydrated Idaho potatoes. He was shocked when he got the call last week letting him know that, in addition to the money he got back from his orders, he also won a 42-inch LCD HDTV. "I was very surprised," Pat remarked. "What a treat; I've never won anything that significant before!"
Pat Vezertzis, General Manager and Owner of Western Sizzlin' in Fort Payne, Alabama was the Grand Prize Winner in an IPC promotion that encourages operators to purchase more dehydrated Idaho potato product. The promotion ran from May 1 thru July 31, 2006. Operators had to purchase a minimum of 10 cases to qualify and could earn up to $300 back. Every qualified entrant was then entered into a raffle drawing to win one grand prize big screen television, three runners-up TiVo DVR prizes and ten third place Apple Video iPod prizes. The IPC offered further incentive for sales representatives to increase purchase orders of dehydrated Idaho potato product by offering matching prizes to each of the winners' primary salespersons.
Pat chose the cash prize equivalent as opposed to the big screen television, primarily because he already owns one, but also so he can treat his wife to something special for their eleventh wedding anniversary this November. Pat has worked at the Western Sizzlin' since he was a kid and his father owned the store. Western Sizzlin' is a family steakhouse and buffet and Pat's store is one in a chain of 123 throughout the country. "At a family steakhouse and buffet we use a lot of potatoes, and they're all Idaho," Pat said. "We use the dehydrated product for the mashed potatoes on our buffet and we average twenty cases per month on that product alone. We also use fifty cases of fresh 40-counts as a baking potato with our steak entrees. We go through a lot of potatoes; this was a great program!"
Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some operators don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the "Grown in Idaho" Seal. Both words Idaho® Potatoes and the "Grown in Idaho®" seal are federally registered Certification Marks that certify to consumers that they are purchasing genuine Idaho Potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.