Teacher Invents At-Home Salad Bar

By Jen Lynds
Bangor Daily News, Maine.


As a life science teacher at Easton Junior-Senior High School, Ellen Trask often tells her students that any dream is possible as long as they set goals and work hard to accomplish them.

It was a lesson she recently exemplified with a dream of her own.

Trask has invented something she calls The Home Salad Bar, a simple food storage unit designed to become part of anyone’s refrigerator.

“I have always loved eating healthy and making sure that my children are eating healthy,” Trask said on Thursday. “And I love eating salads. But I hate chopping up all of the vegetables that go in salads, and then storing all of the vegetables in the refrigerator again. Most of the time, you put them way in the bottom of the refrigerator and they spoil because you forget all about them.”

Trask said that the idea came to her when she was eating at a restaurant and saw a salad bar.

“I thought to myself, ‘Why can’t I have a salad bar in my home refrigerator?'” Trask said.

Being a school teacher, she spoke to her students about the idea and they encouraged her to pursue the idea.

She said her research led her to work with Invention Home, an invention and product marketing company, to develop a prototype of the product.

She already has secured a provisional patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Under the patent, there could be several designs of The Home Salad Bar. One is a unit that is independent from the refrigerator. Another version allows The Home Salad Bar to be part of the refrigerator design and would be present in the refrigerator when you buy it.

Trask said she filed a design patent last fall and recently pitched the idea to a casting director of “Shark Tank,” an ABC reality show where aspiring entrepreneurs make business presentations to a panel of investors.

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