The snack was invented after the Second World War by James Marker of Dayton, Ohio and W.T. Hawkins. The pair were living in Chicago when they discovered a method, by trial and error, of extruding cornmeal, casting it into fingerling shapes, then deep frying it in vegetable shortening and sprinkling it with genuine cheddar cheese. Production was moved to Tweed, Ontario in 1949 where the recipe was perfected and the W.T. Hawkins Ltd. plant established.
Production was moved to a factory in Belleville, Ontario in 1956 after fire destroyed the original plant in Tweed. The snack has been produced in the same facility ever since and continues to be sold across Canada.
Old Dutch Foods produced two similar products in the 1970s, cheese-flavoured "Crunchys" and barbecue-flavoured. The latter were discontinued and Old Dutch continues to produce the cheese-flavoured Crunchys in two flavours.
- Morrow, Adrian (2012-05-03). "James Marker Moulded Cheezies into a Canadian Icon". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- Lesley Ciarula Taylor "Cheezies inventor dies in Bellevile, Ont., at 90" Toronto Star, 3 May 2012
- "Canada loses Cheezie Whiz", The Calgary Sun, QMI Agency, Friday, May 4, 2012
- Hawkins History
- Old Dutch Foods:Crunchys