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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

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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Current Events!

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: 

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!


While the above companies are clearly influential cornerstones in the Potato Chip Industry, those mentioned in the following articles also have had a hand in it’s growth.
Click Here or the photo below to learn more!

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Framed Potato Chip
Jean’s Foods, Syracuse, NY
c. 1940s
Gift of Edward Becker, Fayetteville, NY
This framed potato chip was the first chip made by Jean’s Foods, a subsidiary of Jean’s Beans in Syracuse.  Jean’s Beans began in 1924 when Frank J. Childs, “started selling his wife’s beans out of the back of his car.”  Jean’s Beans then created a subsidiary company called Jean’s Foods to make and sell potato chips, salads, and fish from a take-out shop on East Fayette Street in Syracuse during the 1940s.  The food recipes came from Frank’s brother-in-law, Jean, who was a New York City chef at the time.  Jean’s Foods opened a potato chip plant and then offered store franchises.  Neil Fuller, a company employee, opened new stores in Elmira, Carthage, Ogdensburg and Watertown.  However, the stores were not ultimately successful, and all but the Watertown store closed by 1957.  The Watertown store, opened in 1953, continues today as the last remaining location.  It sports one of the early company logos and features the motto, “Buy Jean’s By All Means.”  In 1995, Jean’s Foods was acquired by Terrell’s Potato Chips, another Syracuse food business that still makes tasty potato chips today.

Whatever Happened to...Hunt’s Potato Chips

Chip Nostalgia: 1974 Wire Photo GOAT EATING POTATO CHIP Crandon Park Zoo Animal Exhibit
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Granite Potato Chip Company

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For Immediate Release: Saratoga Salsa & Spice’s Handmade Saratoga Potato Chip
- Making a truly local chip!

Saratoga Springs, NY- September 4, 2009:
Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company is proudly announcing today it’s partnership with Sheldon Farms, a 6th generation potato farm, locally owned and operated, located in Salem, NY; fulfilling its vision for a truly handmade Saratoga Potato Chip. Sheldon Farms will supply their heirloom potatoes to Saratoga Salsa & Spice, allowing for the creation of all natural chips made with uniquely flavored potatoes not seen before in the marketplace.

Pat Sheldon of Sheldon Farms states, “Sheldon Farms is proud to supply the potatoes for Saratoga Salsa & Spice’s revival of Saratoga's heirloom chip. When chips were invented in Saratoga a hundred and fifty years ago, great-great-great- grandfather Asahel Sheldon was growing potatoes across the Hudson in Washington County.  He'd be proud to see Sheldon potatoes continuing the heritage in Saratoga Salsa & Spice’s Saratoga Potato Chips
today. As farmers, we also appreciate John and Rick's commitment to using local potatoes, not only for authenticity's sake, but as a prime example of how local and regional food businesses can help preserve the viability and sustainability of the family farm.  We very much look forward to working together." The potato chip was first made in Saratoga Springs in 1853 and they were made by hand. The Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company has brought back this handmade potato chip which is fried in small batches with the skin on. It is then hand seasoned, hand packed and hand labeled. Our chip is an all natural chip and has been on the market since the fall of 2008. Local and nationally known chefs Jasper Alexander, owner of Hatties Restaurant, and David Britton of Food Network’s “Dinner Impossible” are working with the company providing their extraordinary talents to the chip making process.

Saratoga Salsa & Spice owner John Knotek said, “We are ecstatic to be partnering with Pat and Albert from Sheldon Farms. Our goal has always been to create a unique and local handmade potato chip that honors the Saratoga tradition as well as compliments our vision of “products with a little bit of attitude”. We set our course several years back to not simply copy a page of history. We believe our handmade approach, a local facility along with locally grown heirloom potatoes, and our expertise in spices that will allow us to create exciting unique flavors fulfills this vision. Imagine a handmade Heirloom Adirondack Red or Adirondack Blue Saratoga Potato Chip
seasoned to perfection. I guess you could say we are creating our own page of Potato Chip history”.

As with the other Saratoga Salsa & Spice products, the chips will be produced locally under the Pride of New York program. As a member of the advisory board for the Pride of New York program, Dave Evans, shared “It was about five years ago when Saratoga Salsa & Spice decided to do this exciting potato chip concept in its original form. What these folks have come up with is huge. Producing potato chips, having a facility in our great state; partnering with Pat and Albert Sheldon of Sheldon farms, a New York State sixth generation farmer, to provide New York potatoes; plus working with two great area chefs, all to make handmade potato chips and a plan to create jobs here in NY. I have been on the Pride of New York Advisory Board for many years and I can say without hesitation; this is what the Pride program is all about!”

Hi Alan,
Wanted to share with you some exciting news re: our Saratoga Potato Chip!! I believe this truly completes the base vision for our chips, allowing us to do something that simply no one else can do… using locally sourced, heirloom potatoes. We can do this because of our approach—handmade/small batches/”custom” batches.

Look forward to talking with you soon. But wanted to make sure I kept you in the loop. We greatly appreciate all of your insight and support!!!!!!!!!
Best Regards,
Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company
398 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Jackson's Honest (Boulder, CO)

Founders Megan and Scott Reamer started Jackson's Honest after their son, Jackson, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. After noticing how much his symptoms improved by replacing carbohydrates with coconut oil and other ancestral fats, they began making chips by slow-cooking potatoes in coconut oil. Today, Jackson's Honest products come in varieties such as Apple Cider Vinegar Potato Chips, Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Cheesy Cheddar Grain Free Puffs, and more.
Visit to learn more.

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Sights and Sounds: Great Lakes Potato Chip Process
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) - December 30, 1988
· Author/Byline: David Nicklaus Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
· Edition: FIVE STAR
· Section: BUSINESS
· Page: 8C
· Readability: 10-12 grade level (Lexile: 1170)
So Good Potato Chip Co., which closed its snack-food factory here three months ago, is seeking to reorganize under federal bankruptcy law.

So Good and two affiliated companies filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions late Tuesday. So Good listed assets totaling $5.79 million and liabilities totaling $6.87 million. Its subsidiary in Lithonia, Ga., So Good South Inc., listed assets of $4.65 million and liabilities of $6.65 million. A subsidiary that leases equipment to So Good South listed assets of $550,000 and liabilities of $1.8 million.

So Good is based at 4190 Hoffmeister Avenue in south St. Louis County. Its plant at that location closed Sept. 30, throwing 58 people out of work. At the time, President William Culbert Jr. said Teamsters Union Local 688 had rejected a request for concessions that could have kept the plant open.

Since then, the non-union plant in Georgia also has closed. It had about 80 employees. Both plants made potato chips, popcorn, cheese curls and other products.

Culbert did not return a reporter's telephone calls Thursday. Local 688 officials also could not be reached for comment.

So Good's court filing says $4.3 million of its debt is owed to three secured creditors, who are not named. The remaining $2.54 million is owed to 125 unsecured creditors.

So Good South says it owes $2.4 million to two secured creditors and $4.2 million to unsecured creditors. The leasing company says its $1.8 million debt is to one secured creditor.

The unsecured creditor owed the largest amount is Dixico Inc., a packaging manufacturer in Dallas. It is owed $870,428 by So Good and $689,329 by So Good South.

Holders of other large debts include Thompson Brokerage Co. of Waco, Texas, owed $274,912 by So Good and $783,421 by So Good South; Lyle W. Currie Co., a potato supplier in Grand Forks, N.D., owed $35,942 by So Good and $749,313 by So Good South; Jack Rubin & Son Inc., a potato supplier in Chicago, owed $360,886 by So Good and $359,836 by So Good South; Parkway Packaging Inc. of St. Louis, owed $131,419 by So Good and $203,589 by So Good South; and Dino's Trucking of South County, owed $50,089 by So Good and $313,196 by So Good South.
· Record: 8803190849
· Copyright: Copyright (c) 1988 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

So Good Unit Sues Owners Of Parent Company

View Article
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) (Published as St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - June 27, 1990
· Author/Byline: By Fred Faust; Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
· Edition: 3S
· Page: 7B
· Readability: 11-12 grade level (Lexile: 1270)
The owners of the closed So Good Potato Chip Co. have been sued by a subsidiary of the firm over a $485,000 note. But the company's bankruptcy trustee says the suit is unauthorized and will further complicate an already knotty bankruptcy case.

So Good Realty Co. charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court that the owners, A. Elmer Leeker Jr. and Doris P. Leeker, signed a promissory note in January 1988, but were in default as of March 1, 1988. The court papers identify Donald A. Block as the president of So Good Realty.

So Good Potato Chip filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 1988, after halting production at its plants at 4190 Hoffmeister Avenue in south St. Louis County and in Atlanta.

Block and a partner supposedly bought So Good after the bankruptcy petition was filed. In late May 1989, they took control of the company.

But in July the court forced Block and his partner out of the company after a lawyer discovered that Block had filed for personal bankruptcy and had been involved in two previous bankruptcies, none of which was disclosed to the court.

The court converted the case to a Chapter 7, which means liquidation. In September Norman W. Pressman was appointed trustee of the company.

''As trustee, I am the sole shareholder of So Good Realty,'' Pressman said. ''Block has no authority to file this suit. Both he and his lawyer ought to know better.''

A lawyer for the Leekers, Charles F. Dufour of Becker Dufour & Yarbrough, said he was aware of the note but could not comment on the suit because the Leekers have not yet been served.
· Index terms: (002) lawsuit owner closing so good company complication charge a signing paper document file filing eleven seven appointment naming selection choice
· Record: 5900042170
· Copyright: Copyright 1990 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Potato Chip Institute 25 YEAR MEMBERS ARTICLE
Potato Chipper Jan. 1967

Click here to read the whole article.

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Potato Chip Institute 1966 Silver Anniversary Award Recipients

Each entry show the recipients brief bio with contributions to the Chip Industry. Please note some of the major industry players like Lay’s & Utz, both still doing very well even today!

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