Local investor group purchases Ballreich potato chip company

Local investor group purchases Ballreich potato chip company
(Source: Ballreich's Potato Chips/Facebook)

TIFFIN (WTOL) - Ballreich’s chips have been a northwest Ohio staple for nearly 100 years. Now, they are taking a leap to ensure these famous chips continue to be an area tradition.

On Friday morning, Ballreich Bros. Inc. announced that it had been sold to Ballreich Snack Food Company, a newer investor group formed by northwest Ohio business professionals who want to keep the company thriving. According to a press release, the group has already been discussing future expansion for the potato chip brand.

The Ballreich family has owned and operated the business since 1920 and the current owners, Brian (the grandson of the original owners) and Linda Reis, have managed and grown the company since 2006.

“We have accomplished some really good things over the last 13 years in terms of growing our markets, earning SQF (food safety) certification and supporting numerous community events and organizations. As with all companies, we are now at a point in time to take the company to the next level and Linda and I are happy to have connected with the investors and team from Ballreich Snack Food Company,” the owners said in a statement.

Ballreich’s was started in 1920 by Fred and Ethel Ballreich, who famously came up with the term “marcelled” for the name of the waves in the chips, which was based on a popular hairstyle of the time. Fred’s brother, Carl, and his wife Emma joined the company after working at the Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan.

In their near 100 years in business, the potato chip brand has gained local and national fame. In 2006, Ballreich’s became official chip of Toledo Mud Hens and in 2009 was named the official chip of the Lake Erie Crushers, Toledo Walleyes, Bowling Green State University Falcons and University of Toledo Rockets. The plant has hosted visits by Former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan. The company has even been featured on the big screen in the movie "Street Kings” as well as on the “Rachael Ray Show” and ABC’s “The View.”

“So many people have enjoyed Ballreich’s potato chips over the years and they have become part of the fabric of what makes northwest Ohio such a great place to live, work and play. We are very excited and feel blessed to have the opportunity to continue to build on the Ballreich tradition and hope to set the company up to thrive for the next 100 years,” said Steve Dandurand, CEO/President of Ballreich Snack Food Company.

The move seems to be supported by community leaders.

“We’re happy to see that a great group of local investors have come together to help keep Ballreich’s in our community,” Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said. “This company is not just a local employer, but a point of civic pride.”

The best news is, you won’t have to miss even a single bag of those chips as a result of the transition. Operations at the plant on Ohio Ave. will continue uninterrupted, and the group will retain the 55 team members currently employed.

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