Universal York

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Charles Chips Missed in York County

Remember Charles Chips?
I have been posting brief histories of York County potato chip makers and fellow blogger Jim McClure has touched on them too. Jim took the subject to the York Daily Record online Exchange community forum, which has stirred up more chip discussion. One exchanger commented on the home-delivered Charles Chips. That brings up memories for my family.
When my children were growing up, the Charles Chips man stopped by our house regularly, bring a one pound tin of very fresh chips and picking up the empty tin. We kept it on top of the refrigerator, probably to save space as well as to keep short young people from overindulging. I remember them as being similar to Utz chips, my favorite.
My husband remembered helping a relative who had a Charles Chips route deliver to homes in Red Lion, including the day a tin escaped and rolled the whole way down East High Street from Main Street to the borough limits, scattering chips as it rolled.
Who made Charles Chips and what happened to them?

Charles Chips were made by Musser’s Potato Chips in Mountville, Lancaster County, just across the Susquehanna River. Some sources say they started out in 1942, which coincides with most of the local brands origins in the 1930s and 1940s. My husband remembered them first being called Musser’s Chips, but the name was changed, probably in the 1950s, to Charles Chips.
An internet search brings up innumerable hits on Charles Chips, but most are people remembering how good they were and lamenting that they are no more.
Even after they left Lancaster County, you could still get them for a while. Some people said they ordered them online from Vermont Country Store, but a visit to that site shows that they are no longer listed. The last retailer I could find was Cracker Barrel Restaurants, who sold them in their shops. I called the York one and they said they no longer have them and they too think the company is out of business.
A company called Charles Chips Enterprises, Inc. may still exist in New Jersey. They were involved in a copyright case for the name in 2005, but I couldn’t find a website for them. If the name is ever relicensed to a chip maker, I hope they make a chip worthy of the name.
Click below for more on local chips:
Click here for info on Senft’s potato chips.
Remember Charles Chips?
Utz to be sold to Snyder’s of Hanover.