Indiana potato chip factory closes doors after 89 years

June 27, 2017

The owner of a potato chip company that has been in operation in Gary since 1928 has gone out of business.

Peerless Potato Chips Inc. owner John M. Hogg told The Times of Northwest Indiana that the bankruptcy of its main distributor, Central Grocers, "was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Hogg said his potato chips have gradually lost shelf space to national competitors at supermarkets and pharmacies. About 15 employees had to be laid off from the potato chip factory. Hogg called them "very dedicated people, most with many years of service."

The Peerless brand didn't gain widespread recognition outside of northwest Indiana, but the chips, which were cooked in pure vegetable shortening, were renowned in the region.

Hogg, 71, said he tried to sell the company but he couldn't draw "a fair price." He also said he hasn't taken a paycheck in two years and is suffering from terminal lung cancer. It's time to "call it a day," Hogg said.

Hogg's father, John N. Hogga fighter pilot for England in World War Ifounded the company 89 years ago, shortly before the Great Depression.


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