Roots: Nature’s Orange Superfood
“Our sweet potato fries are the cleanest and crispiest on Planet Earth,” Alec Warren, executive director of Roots Farm Fresh, said. “While most fries are boiled, we only use steam, which keeps our fries crispy on the outside and nutrient-rich on the inside.”
Headquartered in Dumbo, Brooklyn, Roots Farm Fresh stands behind the motto “Work hard. Be kind. Eat sweets.” The company’s first secret, according to Warren, is its base product — a scrumptious sweet potato called a Covington that is, according to Roots, “born, bred & baked” in North Carolina. Warren calls the state the mecca of sweet potato growing: “Our factory is within 50 miles of the fields where our potatoes are grown. We formed a collective, partnering with local growers, which means fewer miles from seed to fry and a smaller carbon footprint. We use 100% of our crop and aim for zero waste.”
To those who love it, the sweet potato is a thing of unconventional beauty. Chef Duran is unconvinced of the beauty but says that Roots performs a public service by converting “all the ugly sweet potatoes that people don’t want in the market” into tasty toasts and croutons. He was especially taken with the sweet potato crouton, which is part of Roots’ waste-free campaign: “Good for Our Families and Good for the Planet.” Warren sees the goal of the campaign as to distribute an array of products that give health-conscious consumers a way to enjoy sweet potatoes at every meal. Not to mention, all the products are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, allergen-free, Kosher, and Halal.
Despite the rural nature of its product Roots maintains its headquarters in Brooklyn because “Brooklyn is cool,” Warren said. “It has ready access to media outlets, and it has a great food scene. A lot of other founders are here. We meet and inspire one another through a company called Naturally New York, which brings people together.”