WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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business W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 150 On a recent Saturday afternoon, Peters watched on as shoppers at the West Roxbury Roche Bros. store sampled his product out of paper cones. "Hey guys!" he enthused as two young girls walked by with their mother. "You want to try some Veggie Fries?" One of the girls shook her head, and the mom explained that they weren't very adventurous eaters, but the other girl stepped up and had a taste. Later on, in the freezer aisle, Peters couldn't help himself from pitching the product to shoppers who were buying other items. When one woman picked up a bag of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Golden Crinkles, Peters asked her, "Did you try the Veggie Fries in the back?" Peters told one skeptical boy that he would buy the fries for him if the child tried them and liked them. The boy did not return, but a few hours into the sampling, the store was in danger of running out of the product. Peters beamed as he watched a man pick one of the last bags of Veggie Fries out of the freezer and place it in his shopping basket. "For an entrepreneur," he said, "there's nothing more heart-warming than seeing that happen." "What was so refreshing is that these measured at least as high as what kids expect French fries to taste like," says Ellen Briggs, president of Family Food Experts. "It well exceeded their expectations. The crispy outside, fluffy texture on the inside, just completely took them to the moon and back." "Finally, here is a fry that you will not feel guilty about giving to your kids," Briggs adds. "They have done a tremendous job with this product. I fully expect them to be hugely successful." The kids' responses were even more complimentary (if a tad hyper- bolic, with a tendency for amusingly tortured metaphors). "It tastes so good my taste buds had a party and my tongue fainted," said one child. "It was so good that I could explode a rainbow," said another. One kid wrote, "I LOVE IT," followed by 39 exclamation points. Peters and Briggs stress that Veggie Fries don't just pay lip service to nutrition. Peters says he's been disappointed in the past by snack chips and sticks that use "veggie" as part of their brand name, but only use a little bit of tomato or spinach powder for coloring. By contrast, around 30 percent of Veggie Fries are made up of vegetables or beans. "That 30 percent threshold is what allowed us to get the three grams of fiber, the three or four grams of protein per serving," Peters says. "So we're real proud that we're able to get that 30 percent into the product. It's substantially more – up to ten times more – than you see in other products." "Is it something kids should eat on a daily basis, like apples, because they're so healthy? No, they're not like apples," says Briggs. "But it's a great side. It satisfies kids. I'd rather you have [Veggie Fries] than a baked potato with butter and sour cream and bacon bits, absolutely. I would even make them for breakfast, with some scrambled eggs. Why not?" Briggs says that, while whole fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet, it's unrealistic to think that people won't eat any processed foods, and so it's important to make those foods healthier, as well. "You want fresh foods on the table, absolutely. But you can have some con- venience foods too. What they're doing is, they're taking a traditionally loved food, and they're making it healthier. I think it's fantastic." C O U R T E S Y O F V E G G I E F R I E S "exceeded their expectations" Dave Peters (right) with his wife Cristina (left) and family

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