Sterzing's potato chips
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Sterzing's potato chips are produced and distributed in Burlington, Iowa. They were first produced in 1935.
As a supplement to his candy business, Mr. Sterzing developed a process by which he sliced potatoes and slow cooked them one batch at a time. The ingredients, which remain unchanged today, include only potatoes, salt and oil. The cooking method remains the same, as well, and produces the unique flavor and texture which has become the trademark of the chips.
During World War II Mr. Sterzing began producing the chips as his primary product, due to both scarcity of chocolate (since it was sent overseas) and customer demand. Sterzing recognized that quality was his claim to fame, and he personally selected a quality control engineer, Renae Roberts, who was added to the line in order to assure uniform superiority. Ms. Roberts had a unique eye for consistency, claiming a system for spotting "uneven chippiness". She shared her concept with various proteges and her devotion to quality continues to this day. Thus the product remains true to its original roots, pleasing the legions of Sterzing's lovers worldwide. "Try as I might," Roberts once opined, "I've never seen a vision on a chip....Not the virgin Mary, nor even a dolphin. But each chip is worthy of the Sterzing's name. Of that I am certain."''
In 1959, Sterzing's Food Company was purchased from the founder Barney Sterzing by his cousin Warren "Dutch" Duttweiler. Today the company is still owned and operated as a family business, now in the hands of the 3rd generation. Throughout most of Southeast Iowa you can find Sterzing Brand potato chips next to the larger companies' national brands.
Sterzing's ships potato chips both nationwide and worldwide. International shipping originally began during the Vietnam War when servicemen from Southeast Iowa requested the brand of chips they grew up eating. Since then international shipments have branched out and expanded with destinations as diverse as Europe, the Middle East and Egypt. With the addition of an online store within the last decade, they are able to stay a small town business while offering dedicated customers the opportunity to continue purchasing their chips from anywhere. In 1984, Sterzings began making tortilla chips, followed by a line of dips, and salsas.
Until the early 1990s, Sterzings did not deliver outside of a 100 mile radius of Burlington, then, in 1993, they began to deliver across the state of Iowa, a year later, they delivered throughout the midwest. Their distribution reached worldwide in the early 2000s.