Thursday, July 11, 2013

Herr's Potato Chip Factory

Today we had the opportunity to explore Herr's Potato Chip Factory in Nottingham, Pennsylvania.  The Herr's Factory - a family business started by a Mennonite farm kid in the 1940's, began as a tiny little potato chip business where the owner sliced, diced, and fried his own potatoes.  He and his then fiance (now wife) delivered their goods door to door from a tiny truck they operated themselves.  JS Herr (founder) took out a $1750 business loan to get himself started, and was determined that no matter what, he would pay it back to the penny.

And so he did - and now owns and operates a huge company with distribution all up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

The kids and I took the free factory tour with a knowledgeable young tour guide and took in huge amounts of information.  Watching the pretzel dough transform before your eyes into thin, perfect, pretzel crisps was like magic.  "There are a million pretzels!"  Maeryn exclaimed.  And so there were.

We watched potatoes move at 65 miles an hour through washing conveyors, slicers, and ovens to become warm, crispy, perfect chips in 6 minutes flat.  And we sampled the goods.

We couldn't help but scoop up a few souvenir bags from the Oops! collection on the way out (these are not-so-perfect but perfectly edible products that are marked down 50%).

We also snagged a t-shirt for Jonah and a bright pink hoodie for Maeryn.  It was totally affordable, we learned a ton of new interesting cool things, the staff were friendly, and in spite of a few heavy down pours as we shifted from building to building, it was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.

Jonah with his complimentary bag of chips (everyone gets one at the end of the tour in addition to the warm off the conveyor chips you are able to sample during the walk-through) and Maeryn with her Oops! bag of popcorn.  We got three big Oops bags of Herrs products for $3.50.


TCallihan said...

Oh this sounds like so much fun. I love the happy smiles on their faces. If we are ever up that way we will have to check this out.

Missy said...

It is super nice and worth a little drive. The tour is free.

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