Detroit, MI

Better Made Snack Food Company Celebrates 91 Years Of Business

Becca Ballard

Surely you have heard of the brand, Better Made. Known for their potato chips?

The Better Made Snack Food Company has been a Detroit institution for a while now, actually since 1930. Better Made is the only potato chip company that came about around this time, in Detroit, a city that devours this snack and believes that Better Made could just be the superior chip.

The very first potato chip was created in 1853, yet was not known as a snack until after World War I. Then, in 1930, two entrepreneurial Detroiters and Sicilian immigrants, Cross Moceri and Peter Cipriano, became partners in a potato chip business first known as Cross & Peters Company. Their Better Made chip brand was established in 1934, playing off the name of Best Maid.

This business then decided to move its operation to East McDougall Street where their success then first took off. The company had retail branches next door to movie theaters and all throughout the city. This was at a time when concession stands were unknown, but these two took their chances. Chips were first sold in hand-stapled bags of waxed paper, sometimes even from door-to-door or from stands on Belle Isle. The company then moved to Woodward Avenue near the Fox Theatre in the mid-1940s. After World War II, needing room for expansion, they settled into their current location on Gratiot Avenue between Harper Avenue and French Road.

It is hard to believe, at one time there were over 20 potato chip manufacturers in Detroit. The New Era company merged with Frito in 1958, who merged with Lay in 1961. Since national brands were coming to life, Better Made knew they had to keep improving and creating more products. To compete, Better Made produced its first flavored chip, barbecue, in 1973, with a sour cream chip & onion chip following. Over time Better Made has diversified its products, offering so many different flavor options. In 2020, Better Made released jalapeno cheddar-flavored popcorn, peanut butter-filled pretzels and dill pickle chips, plus more. The plant also makes several types of corn chips, pork rinds, popcorn, pretzels, cheese puffs, dips and salsas as well.

Better Made relies on quality ingredients of potatoes, salt and cottonseed oil, plus freshness. Their products can be bought directly from the factory, just hours old, or have them shipped anywhere in the world. What's your favorite Better Made flavor?

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Photo By: Becca Ballard

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