In April 1924, Mr Moore and his wife began making potato chips in the kitchen of their home. Their equipment consisted of frying pans and knives. That is all.
It was enough to get started though, and the Chips made in this kitchen were first sold in Mr Moore’s neighborhood store on 5th Street in Bristol, Virginia. It is unlikely that however big his dreams were, that Mr Moore envisaged a time when tons of his Chips would be selling in outlets as far as 400 miles away.
The increasing demand for these home-cooked Potato Chips necessitated a move from the kitchen to the basement of the Moore home. A large fryer was created by cutting a 50-gallon metal drum in half.
Soon, the business outgrew the basement and was moved to a large building in the backyard. As is often the case, a room was added to that building as demand grew and diversification allowed for additional growth. Peanut Butter and some associated products were made in this room.
A delivery route was soon established, reaching an 80-mile radius of Bristol.
Meanwhile, Zella Moore Arnold (wife of Tom Arnold) became the mother of two sons, Jack and Joe Arnold. In time, both sons became associated with the company, then later, fourth generation family members were associated with this business.
The growing company remained at the Moore Street location until the summer of 1965, when a move was made to a new plant on Commonwealth Avenue. This plant served until it was destroyed by fire on February 23rd 1988.
A new plant was built for the 625 employees for what had become a snack giant. Indeed, by 1989, there were 334 routes using 375 trucks. Twenty-eight tractor trailers were needed to haul the products.
There were 85 warehouses spread in eight states. From a modest bag of potatoes used per week in 1924, more than 1 million pounds per week were being processed in 1989.
Address: 1 Food City Circle, Abingdon, Virginia 24210
Telephone: +1 276-623-5100
Email: Website COntact Form
Below is a direct link to a fantastic historic page about the original Moore's Chips company...
From very modest sales in 1924, by 1989 sales had reached $74 million per year.
The company was then sold to Borden’s in June 1989. As far as we are aware, Wise now make these products and sell them directly through Snack City stores, but info is quite scarce, so we would love to know more.