Special Report

Regional Potato Chip Brands the Whole Country Deserves

Source: Courtesy of Grippo's Snack Foods

Grippo’s
> Home state: Ohio

Angelo Grippo founded his company in Cincinnati in 1919 to make ice cream cones. The company later expanded to pretzels and, in 1959, added potato chips to their product line. In addition to their plain chips, Grippo’s offers a variety of wavy chips (Salt & Vinegar, Sour Cream & Onion, Sweet Maui Onion, Cheddar and Horseradish), and specialty items like a new Carolina Classic Bar-B-Q chip. They’re best known, though, for their standard Bar-B-Q offering, spicy and sweet. Fans particularly like the crumbs and seasonings that settle to the bottom of the bag.

Source: Courtesy of Guy’s Snacks

Guy’s Snacks
> Home state: Missouri

Guy’s Nut and Potato Chip Co. started life in 1938 in Kansas City as Guy’s Nut and Candy Company. Today, the company makes ten variations on the potato chip, including wavy and “Ridges” varieties. The most famous is its barbeque flavor — a chip that Guy’s claims to have invented. Guy’s chips are sold in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Source: Courtesy of Laura Scudder’s

Laura Scudder’s
> Home state: California

A longtime California favorite, the Laura Scudder’s brand was founded by an attorney of the same name in the Los Angeles County community of Monterey Park back in 1926. At the time, potato chips were sold in tins or barrels. Scudder was the first to sell them in wax paper bags, and later the first to date the packaging. Besides the usual, Laura Scudder flavors include Stuffed Jalapeño and Chile & Limón.

Source: Courtesy of Mikesell’s Snack Food Company

Mikesell’s
> Home state: Ohio

“We’ve been around longer than almost every other potato chip company in the United States,” Mikesell’s claims on its website (see Tri-Sum, below). Daniel W. Mikesell founded his enterprise in Dayton in 1910, originally selling sausage and dried beef but soon expanding into “Saratoga chips.” Today’s product list includes almost 20 varieties, including both Honey Bar-B-Que and Zesty Barbecue, as well as Good’n Hot Groovy, Old Fashioned Himalayan Sea Salt and Vinegar, and 100% Peanut Oil choices. The chips are sold in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois.

Source: Courtesy of Mister Bee Potato Chip Co

Mister Bee
> Home state: West Virginia

In West Virginia and parts of Ohio and eastern Kentucky, Mister Bee — made by West Virginia’s only potato chip company — is a favorite. Two varieties of kettle chips — Original and Barbeque — are in the lineup, along with Honey Barbeque, among others. Mister Bee also offers Dip Style chips, thicker than usual so they won’t break apart when dredged through blue cheese dip.