This business makes $25,000 a month sending messages on potatoes

Published: March 14, 2016
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PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ Potato Parcel

PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ Potato Parcel

A unique business that lets you send personalised messages to your loved ones on potatoes is becoming all the rage these days.

A 24-year-old man named Alex Craig started the business in May 2015 in Dallas, US, charging $8 to $10 a piece. Dubbed the “stupidest idea ever” by his girlfriend, the venture called ‘Potato Parcel’ nonetheless brought him $2,000 in profits within two days.

Five months later, Craig sold the business to an entrepreneur Riad Bekhit for $40,000. Now based in San Bruno, California, Potato Parcel recorded its highest sales to date, $25,000 in February. The business buys Idaho Russet potatoes from local grocery stores and uses Pilot G2 gel roller pens to write the message.

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“We’ve made our investment back within a few months,” Bekhit told Quartz. “There’s just something about receiving a potato when opening a package—it’s something people don’t forget.”

Bekhit has also added new products, which include Potato Pal (a potato with a picture of someone’s face) and Potato Postcard (a postcard pasted onto a potato). Further, he’s also created holiday-themed spuds, such as the Lump of Coal Potato (a potato that’s spray-painted black) and Spooky Tater (a potato painted to look like a pumpkin).

Potatoes were also surprisingly popular gifts for Valentine’s Day as sales for the first 12 days of February exceeded $1,000 each day, says Bekhit.

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Bekhit aspires to make Potato Parcel a global business and has expanded to the UK, Canada, and Australia. However, a host of copycats, including Mystery Potato, Mail a Spud, and Potato in the Post—has sprung up since the launch of Potato Parcel.

“Potato Parcel is the originator. … The competitors do not have as much web traffic as we do,” he says.

And not the same innovation either. “None of them add images to the potatoes,” he noted.

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Here’s a look at the kind of potato messages people have been sending to their loved ones:

This article originally appeared on Quartz

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