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.