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Welcome to my own personal chip experience. Here you will see some of my personal involvement in the history of not only the Saratoga Chip, but the Saratoga Chip as well. This section chronicles some pilgrimages I have made to visit key people and sites where the chip industry began!

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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!


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In honor of National Potato Chip Day - Sunday, March 14th - the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation will welcome renowned potato chip historian, Alan Richer, for a virtual program. “Take a Bite Out of History: From Saratoga Chip to Potato Chip” will take place on Thursday, March 25 at 7PM. Join the Foundation on Zoom or Facebook Live to learn about the alternative origins of the chip - including the players, facts, myths, and mystery.

“Alan’s enthusiasm for the history of the potato chip is infectious. I encourage everyone to grab some chips and enjoy this interesting program,” said Samantha Bosshart, Foundation executive director. He will cover the timeline, geographic expansion, company slogans, anthropological changes in clothing, companies that began by selling Saratoga Chips, and non-potato "Saratoga Chip" products.

Alan, also known as “The Toga Chip Guy,” will be featured on the History Channel’s "The Food That Built America” on National Potato Chip Day, check your local listings! He also has been interviewed on CBS, NBC, the Boston Globe, various radio, television stations, newspapers, magazines and podcasts, and he and his collection have been featured in a commercial. In addition, he has been a speaker for various meetings, conventions, educational programs, museums, and historical societies.

This program is open to the public for a suggested contribution of $10 and pre-registration is required to attend on Zoom. Everyone who pre-registers by 6:00PM today for this program will be emailed a Zoom link in advance, otherwise join us on our Facebook Page.


Please include donation note “Virtual Program”

Email Anne McDonough at to register without a donation.

Zen and the Art of GROCERY SHOPPING

"Zen and the Art of GROCERY SHOPPING" has hit book stores, and The Toga Chip Guy has been mentioned in it several times. John Koralefski, the author, had asked for a quote from me for the book and until just recently I wasn't able to share what it was. So now that it has hit stores, here is the 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"

See the pages below!

Click here to purchase the book on Amazon!

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The Start Of It All

Spending Black Friday in Chamblee, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. This Lowe’s Improvement Center is on the spot of a former Lay’s Potato Chip factory. Herman W. Lay began his potato chip empire on this very spot. While others are in the mall today, I walked on the very same ground as a titan of industry.

Enjoy, “This Could Be The Start of Something Big.”

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Potato Chip Chocolate Bar

In my continuing journey to bring you all things potato chip, check out the Chocolate covered potato chip candy bar I discovered in “It’Sugar” in Delray Beach, FL. It’s the perfect blend of two all-time favorites. The chain has many locations.
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Always on the hunt!

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My recent visit and tour of Herr’s Potato Chips in Nottingham, PA

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My visit to the Utz Quality Foods Headquarters in Hanover, Pa.  thanks to Kevin Brick, Senior Vice President of Marketing, pictures on the left in the first photo.  

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Here is my interview from LookTV regarding
The Chip Festival 2017.

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Me, The Toga Chip Guy, At SNAXPO18 In Atlanta

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Taking some time out on our recent family vacation in Italy to sample the local chips!

In Pompeii
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In Rome
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Taking some time out on our recent family vacation in Cape Cod, to visit
the The Cape Cod Potato Chip Company factory.

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Here it is in all of it’s entirety! The Fail Chip Documentary, mentioned below!

Click here to view the video on the web site!

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Today my home was converted into a television set as a crew of eight spent four hours shooting me and my Toga Chip memorabilia collection for a commercial of a soon to be launched limited edition new potato chip. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to sharing more details in the future……

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Here are the ad and the brochure page from my talk in April at the Saratoga Springs Library about the history of the Saratoga Chip.

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Alan Richer "Toga Chip Guy" at the Saratoga History Museum to talk about the history of the potato chip

July 23, 2014

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Here are some photos of me on a trip to visit the folks at The Jones Potato Chip Company & The Ballreich Bros. Potato Chip Company. As a collector of Saratoga Chip and Potato Chip memorabilia, making trips to visit people and companies that helped start the industry is always fun and educational.

On this particular trip I was fortunate to not only meet various members of the Jones family, but was also able to see my friend Don Noss (Son of Harvey Noss and featured in the Building An Industry portion of my site)

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Left - Donald Noss with Bob Jones (President of Jones’ Potato Chip Company) Right - Yours truly (Alan Richer, the Toga Chip Guy) with Bob Jones (President of Jones’ Potato Chip Company)

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Myself (Alan Richer) in front of the Jones’ Potato Chip Company Plant, Mansfield, OH

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Left - Brian Reis (President / CEO of Ballreich Bros. Potato Chip Company) with Elizabeth A. Wells (Snack Food Association) & Donald Noss Right - Brian Reis (President / CEO of Ballreich Bros. Potato Chip Company) with Elizabeth A. Wells (Snack Food Association) & yours truly, Alan Richer (The Toga Chip Guy)

The Toga Chip Guy with Maile Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief of
Food Network Magazine.

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Here are some great testimonials from The Chip Festival regarding my exhibit!

Notable Visitors

- Amanda Thomason, Snyder's-Lance, Inc. (Maker of Cape Cod Potato Chips)

"As a Chef I am very interested in the history and background of all food. Alan Richer's one of a kind Saratoga Chip memorabilia display is of particular interest as our area claims to be the home of what has to be the most universally loved, addicting snack."
- Yono Purnomo, Owner: Yono's and dp Brasserie, International Award Winning Chef

"Very Impressive!"
- Mark Costello, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Better Made Snack Foods, Inc

"Great collection and very interesting!"
- Colleen Farley, SNAC International (Snack Food Association)

"Congratulations on Your 1st Saratoga Chips Convention - Great Job. Wonderful History Display"
- Michael Noonan, Famed Saratoga Springs Photographer and the Man Who First Got me interested in the Toga Chip

"Outstanding Display! Love the History."
- Brendan R. Walsh CIA (the original one), Dean - Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

"It is a magnificent collection, and beautifully presented."
- Field Horne, Editor of Saratoga Living and Famed Saratoga Springs Historian

"Great Collection,"
- Chef Jasper Alexander, owner of Hattie's Chicken Shack

- Bob Kavachick, News Channel 13 Albany Weatherman


- Michelle Hines Abram
Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts
Founding Director,

"I learned a lot about Saratoga Chips outside of Saratoga."
- Jack Knowlton, Managing Partner of Sackatoga Stables which owns Kentucky Derby and Preakness Winner, Funny Cide.

Every day Attendees of Chip Festival

"Not just a snack in a bag, but part of American history, loved it!!"

"Fabulous Display, Loved it."

"So Fun!!!

"We love history; the pictures were great."

"Wonderful exhibit,"

"Awesome display! I love the history!"

"What a wonderful trip through Saratoga Potato Chip history. Great photos and memorabilia."

"Very Cool"

"Nice collection! Well curated and displayed."

"It was Lovely."

"Absolutely amazing and interesting!"

"Fascinating display!"

"Very interesting and informative."

"Impressive! Thank you so much for your chronicles of Saratoga Chips!"

"What a Fabulous addition to the Chip festival - the history ties it all together."

"Amazing history"
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Exhibit Shots From The Chiefest 2016

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More shots from The Chip Festival

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A great time was had by large crowds at the Chip Festival

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From the Saratogian article in which the Toga Chip Guy, Alan Richer, was interviewed prior to the 2016
Chip Festival.

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By Paul Post, The Saratogian 7/12/16

All about chips Man has world’s largest Saratoga Chips memorabilia collection

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> Alan Richer’s mother told him to do all things in moderation.

Most of the time he listened, but not when it comes to potato chips.

The Saratoga Lake resident has the world’s largest collection of memorabilia related to Saratoga Chips, which were reputedly invented at Moon’s Lake House in 1853.

“My ultimate goal would be to find a permanent home for this,” Richer said. “I’m the kind of person who likes to start big. I wrote to The Smithsonian Institution a couple of years ago, asking if they were interested. I’ve done something no one else has ever done, at least not to this degree.”

On Saturday, part of his collection will be exhibited at the Saratoga Lions Club’s inaugural Chip Festival at Saratoga Springs City Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m…..

Please read the whole article by clicking here!

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Saratoga Chip Festival Interview 7/5/16

Join Look TV as we sit down with the Toga Chip Guy himself, Alan Richer and Greg Dixon of the Saratoga Springs Lions Club and the chair the of Chip Festival Committee. They’re here to talk about Saratoga’s upcoming first annual Chip Festival.

Click the image below to watch the interview on our site.

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“A Saratoga Essential Event!”

Join Alan at the 2016 Chip Festival to learn more about the history of the Potato Chip.

Click here to learn a bit more about what Alan will be presenting at the festival.

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Alan in front of the Idaho Potato Country Truck on its spring visit to Saratoga!

Learn more about Chip Festival 2016!

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'Toga chip guy
Mark Mcguire, Right Now
Updated 10:15 am, Friday, August 17, 2012

Alan Richer's General Electric Co. biography is extensive, impressive, yet still incomplete. It makes no mention of potato chips.
By day he is a corporate tax attorney, an important and distinguished position. But not as distinguished as being the preeminent — if not the only — authority on the history of the potato chip industry in Saratoga Springs....

Please click to read the whole article.

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July 17, 2014 8:01 am • By Doug Gruse

A chip by any other name

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Alan Richer likes his history a little salty.

Known locally as the “Toga Chip Guy,” Richer has immersed himself in the myths, folklore and facts surrounding America’s most beloved snack food.

Invented around 1853 in Saratoga Springs, the potato chip has grown from a regional favorite to an international sensation.

“The first general name for it was the ‘Saratoga chip.’ Eventually, it became known as the potato chip,” Richer said....

Please click to read the whole article.

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As heard on one of the Empire Broadcasting Network stations