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Please watch all of my videos from The Saratoga County History Center

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Saratoga County man considered top potato chip historian
Mark Mulholland WNYT
Updated: August 1, 2022 - 6:40 PM
Published: July 29, 2022 - 4:44 PM

Please click below to watch my latest interview!

Please click the link below to listen to interview with WGY Mornings interview with Doug Goudie regarding the Saratoga County History Center exhibit.

My latest exhibit at The Saratoga County history Center


Sharing History to Promote Community
August 4, 2022 
Saratoga County History Center

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Potato chip exhibit to open Saturday

BALLSTON SPA“In the Saratoga Style: Potato Chips and Their Regional Folklore” opens Saturday at Brookside Museum, Saratoga County History Center, 6 Charlton St. The exhibit, which will be on display through Dec. 31, explores the many stories that have claimed to explain the story behind the snack, from disgruntled customers to kitchen mishaps.

The use of the “Saratoga” name to nationally market potato chips is seen through the expansive collection of famed local expert Alan Richer, known as “The Toga Chip Guy.”

The exhibit is open to the public 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. For more information,
go to
https://brooksidemuseum.org.


I have recently been featured in twi Times Union Articles
Please read the articles by clicking the links below!

Article 1 - Vanderbilt helped invent the chip in Saratoga?
Likely a salty myth


Article 2 - Toga Chip Guy makes a second showing on History Channel

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Please read the article in Saratoga Today that features, your's truly, The Toga Chip Guy!

Click Here

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Please watch the latest episode of The History Channel's The Food That Built America, "When The Chips Are Down", season 2, episode 3, where I am prominently featured.

Click Here!

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Read my feature article in "Shorelines" The Saratoga Lake Association News Letter.

Click Here

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Listen to my recent interview on Heart Radio.

Click Here

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Listen To The New History Channel Podcast

After appearing in several episodes of The History Channel's Series "The Food That Built America", I have now been prominently featured in an associated podcast.

Please visit The ACast Site to listen!


Please read my recent interview with Julia Dunn on CBS 6.

Click Here

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Read The Article About Me In Saratoga Today Entitled "Who: Alan Richer, The Toga Chip Guy"

This article was just published today, April 2nd, It starts on Page 3.

Click here to read!


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Watch the latest episode of the History Channel's "The FoodThat Built America "that aired on Natational Potato Chip Day, March 14. Featuring the history of Herman Lay and then rival Fritos!

Click here to watch








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John Karolefski, author of the blog Grocery Stories at:
 
https://www.grocerystories.com/ 

has written a book about grocery shopping. He had requested a quote from me about about chips -- their place in snack history, their popularity, etc.

I had provided him with a quote that I will disclose once his book is published.

Here is that quote!

"Potato chips are more American than apple pie. Compare the shelf space allotted to potato chips and apple pie in your local grocery store"


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Recent Events

On Novemeber 19th 2019, I spoke to the New York Capital Region Elfuns Club at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park NY, on the History of the Potato Chip.
The club consists of mostly retired General Electric employees.


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The Toga Chip Guy Is On The Air!

I have been interviewed about the history of the potato chip by a California based radio station, Yesterday USA  Radio Networks,  at 10:30pm New York time on Saturday, September 14th.  
Listen here!

LAURA SCUDDER’S POTATO CHIPS
Established 1926

Born in Philadelphia, Laura Scudder worked as a nurse before moving to California. While there she became the first female attorney in Ukiah, California before moving south to Monterey Park, California, where she started her food company in 1926.

At first, potato chips were packaged in barrels or tins, which left chips at the bottom stale and crumbled. Laura Scudder started having her workers take home sheets of wax paper to iron into the form of bags, which were filled with chips at her factory the next day. This innovation kept the chips fresh and crisp longer and, along with the invention of cellophane, allowed potato chips to become a mass market product.

Scudder also began putting dates on the bags, becoming the first company to freshness date their food products. This new standard of freshness was reflected in the marketing slogan: "Laura Scudder's Potato Chips, the Noisiest Chips in the World."

Laura Scudder faced many obstacles running her own company during the Great Depression. For instance, when she tried to get insurance for the company's delivery truck, she was denied by all the local male insurance agents, who claimed that a woman would be unreliable at paying the premiums. The female insurance agent who eventually insured the truck went on to insure the entire company fleet.

At one point, Laura Scudder turned down a $9 million offer for the company because the buyer wouldn't guarantee her employees' jobs. In 1957 she finally accepted a $6 million offer from a buyer who guaranteed job security for her workforce. The new company was called Laura Scudder Inc. At the time of the sale the company had expanded into peanut butter and mayonnaise, and Laura Scudder brand potato chips held a greater than 50% share of the California market.

In 1987, Laura Scudder Inc. was sold to Borden, Inc. for $100 million. Annual sales for the chipmaker were $126 million in 1986. However, union difficulties motivated Borden to close all California plants of Laura Scudder only a year later. Borden's overall culture of mismanagement, incurrence of excessive debt to finance numerous acquisitions, and several restructurings led in 1993, led Borden to sell what remained of Laura Scudder for less than $16.7 million. However, the buyer, G.F. Industries, Inc.'s Granny Goose subsidiary was already in trouble, and was put up for sale in January 1995. In 2009, Snack Alliance, Inc. licensed from The Laura Scudder's Company, LLC the rights to produce and market potato chips under the Laura Scudder's brand. According to the J.M. Smucker Company website, the Laura Scudder's Natural Peanut Butter business was acquired by Smucker's from BAMA Foods Inc. in December 1994. As of 2009, Smucker's marketed the Laura Scudder's brand of natural peanut butter on the west coast. According to a March 31, 2010 announcement,[8] Snack Alliance, Inc. was acquired by Shearers Foods Inc., a manufacturer of competing salty snacks in different regions of North America. At the same time (2010) it appears the original Laura Scudder's brand is being actively marketed by a California-based company.[9] These two companies have different packaging for their different Laura Scudder's products, and the California company appears to be marketing its products nationwide.

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Laura Scudder Was More Than a Name : Monterey Park Will Honor 'Pioneer, Instigator, Doer' Who Helped Create Snack-Food Industry
April 09, 1989|BERKLEY HUDSON | Times Staff Writer


When she died 30 years ago, the newspapers called her the Potato Chip Queen of the West.
But, as the decades have passed, Laura Scudder has faded from public memory, to the point where there is little to suggest that she existed, beyond being a name on a potato chip bag or a peanut butter jar.
So now, in a suburban city whose historical roots don't go much deeper than the trees planted in the first housing tracts developed there after World War I, Monterey Park is laying claim to its local hero.
The life and times of Laura C. Scudder will be the focus of an afternoon celebration at the city's Garvey Ranch Park historical museum on April 23.
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"She was a woman in business, ahead of her time," said Louis Davis, Monterey Park's city treasurer and president of its historical society. "I can just imagine what she had to go through."
Working from a dusty two-acre parcel that she and her husband bought in 1920, Scudder parlayed a home-grown potato chip business into a multimillion-dollar food empire that spanned California, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon.

Read the whole article
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