You say potato

The Coast - - FOOD + DRINK - —Al­li­son Saun­ders

Be­ing from the UK, Sara Kirk knows the power of a good baked potato. But it’s not a nos­tal­gia for home or a crav­ing for a loaded spud that lead to her launch Just Baked Pota­toes at the Hal­i­fax Sea­port Farm­ers’ Mar­ket in mid-Jan­uary. “I would say it’s more re­search-in­formed than pas­sion at this point of time. But the main idea is want­ing to do some­thing to dis­rupt the food sys­tem we have cur­rently,” she says. A prof in health pro­mo­tion at Dal­housie Uni­ver­sity and mother, Kirk has loads of facts to back up her small busi­ness—start­ing with the idea our en­vi­ron­ment can both help or hin­der us when it comes to healthy eat­ing. “We found when it comes to chil­dren and fam­i­lies, peo­ple tend to be so over-sched­uled,” she says. Just Baked Pota­toes—which Kirk runs with her teenage son—aims to sup­port peo­ple on the go with healthy eat­ing and pro­mote lo­cal farm­ers and sus­tain­able snack­ing. Her por­ta­ble pota­toes from Elm­ridge Farms take in­spi­ra­tion from pop­u­lar street snacks in Tur­key and Is­rael, and are served in a com­postable con­tainer, with a buf­fet-style se­lec­tion of sea­son­ally-in­spired, mar­ket-sourced top­pings. Kirk calls the start-up a “demon­stra­tion project”, and while she and her son are test­ing the wa­ters every week­end at the mar­ket, a long-term goal is to be­come mo­bile (the ul­ti­mate dream is a so­lar-pow­ered food truck) so that Just Baked can show up at the sport­ing events and ex­tra-cir­cu­lar where fam­i­lies need good food, fast. “I think it’s about chang­ing the way peo­ple think,” she says.

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