Potato Vodka Conceptual Business Plan

PHASE ONE: Cultivation, Crop and Harvest


1. Introduction

This is a conceptual business plan created with the intent of distilling high-quality, potato vodka with local, sustainable interests. Phase One consists of purely agricultural aspects in planting, nurturing, maintaining and harvesting a potato crop; and Phase Two incorporates a potato stock as resource in fermentation, distillation, packaging and sale. Each potato used in the distillation process will be organically grown in a vernacular method. The annual model utilized will align with the local capacity of Nature and Summer. Utilizing this model, planting of potatoes will begin on the Last Frost Day (April 7, 2016), according to the Farmer's Almanac; or Good Friday (March 25, 2016), according to the Easter Holiday. A crop of potatoes will be farmed until August 15, 2016 at which point a bounty of potatoes will be harvested and stored indoors at an ideal temperature of 38°F. The distillation time begins on September 1 and endures through the Winter until the next planting season. The following facts and figures are for schematic purposes only, and aim to provide an accurate model based upon research into the distillation process. Further developmental experiments are necessary to ensure the expedited efficiency of such local process with quality, taste and value of utmost importance.

2. Production Target Goals

  • Year 1: 1,000 Bottles

  • Year 2: 1,618 Bottles

  • Year 3: 2,617 Bottles

  • Year 4: 4,234 Bottles

  • Year 5: 6,865 Bottles

    These figures utilize an annual production increase per The Golden Ratio.

3. Logistical Implementation

A) How many potatoes will one plant produce?

"A single plant will produce, at a minimum, three or four pounds of potatoes, and a single seed potato will produce four or five plants. If you plant the seed pieces a foot or so apart in a row, with a couple of feet of space on either side of the row, you will use about 25 square feet of garden space to produce about 20 pounds of potatoes."
NY Times; One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato ... More!
Cass Peterson, April 20, 1997

B) How many potatoes are needed for one bottle of vodka? 

Due Diligence in online research generates various quantities of potatoes required for distillation of 1 Vodka Liter. For this purpose, a generous approximation of 10 to 15 lbs of fresh potatoes is required per bottle of Vodka. 

C) How much land is required to grow a sustained crop for distilling activity?

Focus on the Year 1 Goal for 1,000 Bottles renders a total of 10,000 to 15,000 lbs of potatoes. If 20 lbs of potatoes require a space of 25ft², then the total amount of land required is 12,500 to 18,750 ft²; or 28.70% to 43.04% of an Acre. 

Looking forward to a Year 5 Goal of 6,865 Bottles, the total amount of land needed is 1.97 to 2.95 Acres; or about 1.5 to 2 American Football Fields. 

D) How many seed potatoes are required? 

"About 15 pounds of seed potatoes will be needed to plant a 100-foot row."
University of Missouri Extension; Frequently Asked Vegetable Questions
Lewis W. Jett, Department of Horticulture

"One pound of seed potatoes will plant a row approximately 8' long with seed pieces spaced at 8–12" apart. Plan on 1,200 lb/acre when rows are spaced 36" apart with 12" between plants. Under optimal conditions, you can expect to harvest 10–15 lb of potatoes for every pound of seed potato planted."
Grow Organic.com; Seed Potatoes

Calculating the Year 1 Goal of 1,000 Bottles results in 344.4 to 516.48 lbs of seed potatoes, assuming that each mature plant yields 4lbs.

Published on by Matthew LaBreche.