Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Potato Chip Memories Include Charles Chips – Delivered

March 16th, 2012 · 6 Comments

Charles Chips potato chips were home delivered in the '60s.

How many of you Boomers remember Charles Chips potato chips? They were delivered to your door by the “Charlie Chip man.”

Kids everywhere looked forward to the delivery day when a new tin of chips would arrive. Something about opening a full tin of fresh, crunchy chips was thrilling.

Sitting in front of the TV watching the Mouseketeers after school, or Friday night’s monster movie (Mothra!) and sharing a bowl of Charles Chips with your buddies wasn’t unique just to my house.

The chips made frequent meal appearances. At birthday parties with the hot dogs from the grill, or at picnics on the beach, they were de rigeur. They were packed in waxed paper bags into our Gunsmoke or Snow White lunch boxes and earned us a whole Hershey’s candy barĀ  – if we were willing to trade them.

Chips, cookies and pretzels sold in cans

The delivery man was a fixture in my neighborhood in Wilton Manors, just outside of Fort Lauderdale, for many years in the ’60s and ’70s. The company website indicates that the delivery program stopped – likely due to the high gas prices – in the early 1970s, and the company sold the chips only retail after that.

The tin protected the Charles Chips products

The yellow speckled tins held the crunchy potato chips, made in the Pennsylvania factory and shipped to numerous Southern and Midwestern states. The Northeast had several companies to choose from but many chose Charles Chips.

Empty tins would be set out for the delivery man, with money taped to the top or put inside the can with the order if the homeowner had to step out on delivery day. Once in a while, a spare tin might find its way into a workshop for spare parts or screws, or into a sewing room to hold mending material.

Pretzels and cookies, not as popular, but still with plenty of fans, were sold in half-size tins. The chips would last for at least two weeks – even longer in smaller households.

Though the original Musser family sold the business in the ’80s, you can still order Charles Chips potato chips online from the company now packing them – allegedly still following the Musser recipe.

Tags: Food and Family Intertwine · Old Florida

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Merrie Lee // Mar 17, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Sour cream and onion were so yummy!!

  • 2 Kendall // Mar 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I loved Charles Chips, we kept that tin for YEARS after they stopped delivering. You could never tell what mama would have in that tin for storage!

    thanks for helping me relive a great memory!

  • 3 Denise // Mar 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I remember those too as I was a little girl who grew up in Miami.

  • 4 flmmsx // Sep 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I have one of those Charles Chip cans sitting in my garage

  • 5 shannon kelley // Apr 28, 2016 at 1:25 am

    My grandparents brought the Charles Chips franchise to ft Lauderdale and Miami in 1970 they delivered to housees until they sold it in the early 90’s . And one of the reasons the company had financial problems was when Si Mussers son took over let’s just say he had issues we will leave it at that.

  • 6 David Hurvitz // Dec 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Law Office of David Hurvitz PA

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