Snack Maker Looks To Expand With Homemade Potato Chips.

Quincy Ill. (AP) – The 56 year-old Quincy Potato Chip Inc. is trying to increase its share in the highly competive snack-food market by emphasizing its handmade chips.

New blood and new ideas enabled the company, maker of Quincy Maid chips to expand its operation and buy out another chip maker in 1994, only a year after the company was  in bankruptcy.

Quincy Potato Chip is owned by the House family of Payson. Since November, the Houses also have distributed Country Cooked potato Chips after buying out the Baring, Mo., company. Grant House , Quincy Potato Chip’s general manager, said Country Cooked chips are handmade and fried in peanut oil, giving them a distinctive flavor. House said he hopes to use the special cooking style to explore larger markets for the company.  “We’re trying to find a niche for handmade, peanut-oil, no-cholesterol  chip, because when you get into the big cities none of the chips are handmade,” he said.

Quincy Potato Chip began to turn around after Grant’s father, Chuck, and another Payson man, Harold Schmidt, bought the company from a bankruptcy receiver in late 1993.

Since then, the company has gone from seven employees to 16 full and part-time workers.  “It’s been a home-owned company for 50 years, and we wanted to keep it that way,” Chuck House said at the time of the purchase in 1993.

The company was founded  in 1939 by George Ostermueller. Ostermueller personally oversaw Quincy Potato Chip’s operation until his death in May 1992 at age 86.

Although business has improved  substantially during the past year, Grant House said the company is operating at about one-third of its capacity, producing about 4,500 bags a day. Source: Kenosha News

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