From the January 1999 issue of Entrepreneur

It's nothing but spuds--and we don't mean McKenzie. As a result of America's love affair with mashed potatoes, there's a growing interest in treating spuds as a bona-fide main course. Entrepreneur Brent McClun, for one, expects his Lawrence, Kansas-based chain of Potato Mountain cafes to have expanded to four locations by the time you read this. "Potatoes are a comfort food," says McClun, 37, explaining the enthusiastic reactions of patrons to the 100-plus varieties of mashed potatoes offered by the fledgling (and franchising) Potato Mountain. There are mashed potatoes with chicken, pineapple, broccoli--even pepperoni pizza. Raves McClun, "Potatoes are for everybody."

Gimme 50 Pushups, NOW!

Why enlist when you've got a health club nearby? As unlikely as it sounds, exercise enthusiasts throughout the country are actually popularizing a style of fitness reminiscent of boot camp. Boot camp? We kid you not. Led by such authorities as Patrick "The Sarge" Avon, the author of Boot Camp: Be All You Used to Be (Fireside), so-called drill sergeant fitness puts participants through extreme workouts of crunches, push-ups and the like. Gee, sounds like fun.

Profits In Paradise

Sun. Spices. Rum. The ever-exotic Caribbean is ever-appealing of late. Notice all the travel guides for this island paradise? We have. The use of beautiful seaside images in everything from advertising to movies? Ditto. What really intrigues us, however, is the appetite for Caribbean cuisine, such as that served by the Bahama Breeze restaurant chain. An eating enterprise run by Orlando, Florida-based Darden Restaurants Inc. (perhaps best known for its Red Lobster eateries), Bahama Breeze is projected to double the number of its locations to six in fiscal 1999. Wait and see if more island fever strikes.

Reading The Leaves

Is coffee cooling down? The latest buzz seems to be centered around an intriguingly mystical liquid caffeinator known as chai tea (pronounced "cheye"). A blend of black tea, milk, honey and spices, chai tea is not the sort of tea we're used to--which, in an increasingly Eastern-influenced West, is probably just the point. Enjoyed hot or cold, chai tea is almost Buddhist-like in its everythingness to everyone. Heck, even coffee enthusiasts drink it.

Contact Source

Potato Mountain, (785) 842-7274, herbery@sprynet.com