Martin’s Potato Chips is one of the oldest snack manufacturing companies in Pennsylvania. The company manufactures and distributes potato chips as well pretzels and popcorn. The company also supports the PA Breast Cancer Coalition in Pennsylvania.
The history of Martin’s Potato Chips began in 1941 when Harry and Fairy Martin made potato chips at home and sold them at local farmer’s markets. Harry’s passion for potato chips started when as a child, his mother used to take him to the farmer’s market and he saw the Utz family selling chips next to his stand. He liked them very much, so his mother made potato chips for him. After he married Fairy, the two decided to make potato chips at home using his mother’s recipe. When the demand for their potato chips increased, they opened a small manufacturing plant, and started selling their products to local farmer’s markets and small neighborhood grocery stores.
The company used to make potato chips every day so that only fresh chips were sold to their customers. In 1971, Martin’s Potato Chips was acquired by the Potter family and Harry and Fairy Martin became employees of the company. The business also expanded to Maryland and New York. In 1985, the company started expanding internationally by becoming the partner of a Chinese company. Ken Potter became the advisor of Arnott’s Biscuits, a major snack manufacturer in Australia. During the time of U.S. Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, the company even got the opportunity to serve its snacks on Air Force One.
During this time, the company faced criticism for using unhealthy oils for frying potato chips but it did not change its cooking method. Over the years, the company introduced new flavors in the market and also added new products like pretzels and popcorn to its product line. The company also focused on recycling its waste products such as potato peels, and very small and bad chips by using it to feed cows in the local community. Today, customers can even book a factory tour to see how potato chips are manufactured.
Company headquarters: 5847 Lincoln Highway, West, Thomasville, PA, USA
Number of manufacturing plants: 1
Annual revenue: $50 to $100 million
Number of employees: 200
Geography: Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Altoona
Demography: Natural and Organic