Peerless Potato Chips Goes out of Business from being owed Money by Failed Central Grocers
The oldest potato chip company in Northwest Indiana went out of business recently due to the massive financial failure of grocery wholesaler Central Grocers, whom owed them a lot of money for their chips orders.
John M. Hogg, Peerless Potato Chips president, said the 89-year-old business located in Gary, was an apparent victim of the Central Grocers Inc. bankruptcy. “They owe me a bunch of money,” he said. ” And I’m not getting paid.”
On Monday, Hogg turned on his office voice mail after word of the closing hit Facebook. “The phone just kept ringing,” he said.
“That’s all folks. Thanks for 90 years,” read Peerless’s Facebook post that ignited a stream of stricken responses from fans.
“R.I.P. Big’Un,” wrote one post about the trademark red chip bag.
Another wrote: “Out searching for Peerless Potato Chips.”
A stunned chip lover said: “The end of the world may be drawing near.
Scott Hogg, who worked inside the plant, said its 15 workers have all left in the past two weeks.
“It was a good 89 years,” said John Hogg, 70, of Valparaiso, who’s battling lung cancer. He said his father, John Hogg, started the business right before the Great Depression in 1928.
The family built its current plant across the street from the original one to accommodate newer, larger equipment like a continuous fryer and a potato peeler machine.
The plant stood empty Monday. Two red and white Peerless delivery trucks sat in a garage by the loading dock. Scott Hogg said the last bag of chips was produced about a month ago. A couple of empty bags sat in a packaging machine ready to be filled.
Scott Hogg has fielded phone calls too, he said. “People are calling from all over. One guy was crying,” he said.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson lamented the closing, calling Peerless an “institution” in the city.
Story information from the Chicago Tribune.