Who wants a case of your favorite hometown potato chip, Mikesells ? Then check out this story and comment below on why you love Mikesells Potato Chips! One lucky fan will be chosen at random, GOOD LUCK !
Dayton’s Mikesells Potato Chips are a true local original. Started in 1910 by DW Mikesell who delivered his potato chips by bike. The Wright Brothers bicycle shop even repaired his bike so he could stay in business. Over 100 years later, Mikesells has been the longest continually operating Potato Chip company in the United States. Mikesells is cemented deep in family owned tradition. Four generations of the Mikesell family have worked for the organization. They have various old photos and antiques in the board room as a constant reminder of where they came from and the hard work it took to get there. Now, in 2012 they will sell over 12 million bags of potato chips in the United States. Chip lovers eat their products in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and more. The “Good n Hot” flavored chips have a cult following in the Miami Valley, but the number one seller remains regular Groovy chips. You may also know they produce pretzels, pork rinds, corn chips, dips and the ever original puffcorn delights. Over 72 products in various sizes and flavors make up the Mikesell’s family of snack foods.
Mikesells is always evolving and this year is no exception. They have recently implemented a new packaging look and a new logo. Be on the lookout for these bags, many which are already in area stores. The look of the brand has changed but the beloved flavors have not been touched. Customers can expect the same taste they know and love.
However, Mikesells released two new flavors in June 2012:
Sweet Chili and Sour Cream: It has a kick of spice, a swirl of sweetness and a touch of sour cream all nestled in a Groovy-style chip.
Tuscan Spice: A unique flavor with a splash of olive oil, a burst of sun-dried tomato and a hint of rosemary and herbs with 30% less fat than regular chips.
Being lifelong residents of the Miami Valley, The Food Adventure Crew have eaten a few Mikesells Potato Chips in our time. We love them. So, when invited for an exclusive tour the potato chip facility with DW Mikesell’s great grandson, Luke Mapp, we jumped at the chance. What followed was a once in a lifetime Food Adventure to see how a Dayton icon gets its product to the masses.
We toured practically every inch of the state-of-the-art facility on Leo Street in Dayton. We also harassed more than 130 employees. We experienced a truly customized and incredible operation. The process starts with, of course, potatoes. An 18 wheeler semi-truck literally pulls into the plant and tilts the load onto a conveyor belt and the process begins. Each year, 20 million pounds of potatoes are processed through these production lines.
The potatoes are washed and sliced, and then are either cooked in small batches for the “kettle cooked” brands, or in larger quantities for their “regular” chips. The automated process is supervised and manipulated by workers who ensure the great product that Daytonians love. The slicer is an amazing piece of machinery that looks like a huge garbage disposal. It is able to slice 400 pounds of chips in just three minutes.
The chips are then sent through another wash and lead into the deep fryers. Custom machinery tosses the chips in hot oil so they wont stick together. The deep fryers are gigantic and as big as a small house. The chips are then led by conveyor belt through various canals and where they are salted if needed, flavored if it is a seasoned chip. The product is then weighed sorted into various packages. The sight is indescribable and Luke Mapp explained the process every step of the way. After the products are bagged, they are inspected and placed in cases. There is even a quality control lab where the chemical disposition of the chips are analyzed to ensure consistency. One of the highlights was when we sampled some fresh reduced fat potato chips right off the assembly line. It was the best potato chip we had ever eaten.
Talk about Green? Mikesell’s were Green before Green was cool. They recycle almost everything and have various steps in their production that re-use boxes and transporting materials. Truly an environmentally conscious company. They recycle 130,000 shipping boxes annually. They also donate 208,000 pounds of potato by-product each year to local farmers for animal feed. Mikesells also recovers 52,000 pounds of starch annually that is sold to paper mills.
During the tour, The Food Adventures Crew felt proud to be Daytonians and were blown away by the quality product and welcoming atmosphere. The facility and the process were simply incredible. They produce 4,000 pounds of potato chips in one hour and typically 6,500 cases of potato chips are produced in an 8 hour shift. We are told it takes about 10 minutes to create the average Mikesell’s potato chip from start to finish. So much perfection in so little time. Also, to guarantee freshness, Mikesell’s strives to distribute its products to local retailers in 24 hours or less.
If you have not tried the new flavors of Tuscan Spice and Sweet Chili & Sour Cream, you are missing some fantastic snacks. Make sure you get your hands on some! Make sure you check out the gallery below for an exclusive behind the scenes look at Mikesells.
Also, fellow Daytonians, next time you celebrate with family or friends, grab some Mikesells Potato Chips to make the party right. Buy local for freshness, and that unbeatable taste that has been a Dayton tradition for generations.
Special thank you to Director of Marketing Luke, Amy, and Dan for setting up the tour and the coolest Food Adventure we have ever had. We are grateful!
Want to be grateful too? Register below and get a chance to win a case of MIKESELLS POTATO CHIPS – winner will be chosen at random![form 55 “DMM Contest Entry – Generic”]
Congratulations to our winner: Alma Sove!