In 1992, a Herefordshire potato farmer was left bankrupt when torrential rain destroyed his crops. He lost the farm he had purchased from his father and moved to Australia to escape the embarrassment. Within a few months he had returned; determined to buy back the farm and try again. His eureka moment came ten, frustrating, years later.
Noticing that the potatoes rejected by supermarkets (approx. 50% of spuds sent) were being bought up by the crisp seller, Kettle, he decided to start his own upmarket crisp brand. With no experience he set to work, using his story as publicity and his past as forewarning, and one by one the supermarkets started to stock his product. The potato farmer in question was William Chase, who in 2008 sold Tyrells for £40m, and swiftly moved into the premium alcohol industry with Chase Distillery.
The moral of the story is, if the world hands you potatoes … make crisps and vodka.