Q&A: Ryan Albright

President, Covered Bridge Potato Chips Company


 

Born into a fourth generation of New Brunswick potato farmers, Ryan Albright was the kid who was always coming up with big ideas. In 2006, he bought the family farm with his brother and cousin—and hatched the plan for an all-local potato chip. Building on the 100,000 annual visitors to the nearby Hartland Covered Bridge, the longest of its kind in the world, Albright spent the next three years in product development, construction and market research before the factory opened on January 1, 2009. Now producing 13 flavours, welcoming 15,000 visitors a year and shipping around 200,000 large bags every month across Canada, into the U.S. and internationally, Covered Bridge is a company in growth mode—and Albright is a very busy man.

Travel frequency

I’m probably gone a minimum of a week a month, if I average it all out. Sometimes, I’m gone for three weeks at a time.

Go-to restaurant

La Casa Garcia in Anaheim, Calif., is so good and packed all the time. It’s this little authentic Mexican restaurant near the big convention centre. I saw a guy no bigger than me polish off a five-pound burrito—you get a T-shirt if you eat it.

Travel must-do

I’ve hit the top six fastest roller coasters in the world, including the Xcelerator at Knott’s Berry Farm in Anaheim—it shoots you out of the gate and you go from zero to 82 miles an hour in under three seconds. Last summer, I tried Leviathan, the new roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland [near Toronto]—it’s 306 feet tall and the highest roller coaster in the park.

Approach to travelling for work

If I’m somewhere for a week, I always give myself half a day to do something fun.

Packing style

I always pack a lot because I pack for business, for party, for exercise, for the outdoors. I always want to be prepared—I never know what the weather’s going to be or what’s going to come my way.

Inflight routine

When I get on the plane, I’m on my cellphone right up until the last minute when they tell me to shut it off. Sometimes, they have to tell me twice.

Essential app

Ignition, so I can remote into my computer at work.

Business advice

When you’re planning a new business or looking at building a new structure, always make sure you’re planning not for the moment, but for 10 years down the road. Have the vision as to where you need to go and where you need to be.

Selected Flavours

Covered Bridge Potato Chips

Albright’s favourite Smokin’ Sweet BBQ

615

First flavour Sea Salt

616

Limited edition Atlantic Lobster

617