Wayne E. Bailey at the top of its game with Petitelings
Always at the top of his game, George Wooten, president of Wayne E. Bailey in Chadbourn, NC, continues to live up to his reputation as an innovator in the sweet potato industry.
At the 2016 PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo, the company introduced its new trademarked name, Petitelings, for its sweet potato fingerling potatoes.
Wooten explained, “Petitelings are perfect for foodservice operators because they offer consistency in size, and they save in labor. Because the young sweet potato skins are so tender, they are totally edible. And they are high in sugar so they deliver great flavor.
“We’ve been promoting fingerling sweet potatoes for long time and so we have production down to a science,” he added.
The company will once again feature the Petitelings at its booth, No. 1107, at this year’s PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo on July 28-30 in Monterey, CA.
Although the company has offered fingerling-sized sweet potatoes for several years, branding the item has helped it with product identity and has boosted sales.
Wayne E. Bailey’s Petitelings fit perfectly with chefs wanting to add more sweet potato offerings to their menus, and especially an alternative to fries.
The proof is in the pudding, or sweet potatoes, to be accurate, as the company is serving up Petitelings at the PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo so chefs and other visitors can taste for themselves.
“We will be serving grilled sweet potato Petitelings with a dip at the event,” said Wooten. “This demo clearly demonstrates the versatility of sweet potatoes.”
More than half, about 55 percent, of Wayne E. Bailey’s business is in the foodservice sector. Wooten noted that most of the company’s foodservice customers are high-end and family style eateries.
Wayne E. Bailey’s sweet potato Petitelings come in a variety of pack sizes for foodservice operators. The item is also available in pack sizes that are perfectly suited for the retail sector.
Chefs and foodservice executives, Wooten pointed out, are excited about this product because it’s new, trendy and super healthy. Petitelings are a great example of his innovative tendencies — to offer something new that others are not offering. Going the step further to trademark a great name means that Wayne E. Bailey has once again broken through barriers to bring an exciting new item to the produce industry.
“We will also have our full line of sweet potato offerings at the PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo,” noted Wooten. “We’ve been pushing sized sweet potatoes for 30 years, and we’re still finding new operators who need them. Our sized sweet potatoes and the Petitelings are available year-round so foodservice operators can make them a permanent part of their menus.”
In addition to Wooten, manning the Wayne E. Bailey booth at the event will be Alice Wooten, company associate; Michelle Jacobs, national foodservice director; and Tim Nealy, sales representative. Jacobs has been with the company for about eight years, previously working in other capacities.
“Michelle’s primary role now is to handle major restaurant accounts and national foodservice distributors,” said Wooten. “She works hand-in-hand with distributors to create programs around smaller restaurant chains. It’s great that she has strong experience with us in Midwest sales and transportation, and it’s fitting that she takes control of this very important role.”
The company’s staff continues to grow. Wooten announced that Jay White has joined the Wayne E. Bailey team as salesman for the Midwest region.
The company ships throughout the United States and Canada, and exports to Puerto Rico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other areas.
The Wooten family also continues to grow.
“My wife, Alice, and I now have six grandchildren,” Wooten boasted. “Alice and I are thrilled to watch our family growing.”