The South’s Original Potato Chip
Golden Flake Snack Foods
The Potato Chip is Born.
As the story goes, George Crum, a cook at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York, tries to appease a customer who keeps complaining that his potatoes are too thick. Frustrated with repeated complaints from the same customer, Crum slices the potatoes razor thin, fries them until they’re crisp, and serves them up. The customer is thrilled. The potato chip is born.
Golden Flake began in 1923 as Magic City Foods in the basement of the original Hill's grocery store in downtown Birmingham. The business, founded by Mose Lischkoff and Frank Mosher, sold roasted peanuts, peanut butter cracker sandwiches and home-made horseradish. Sales took off, especially for their "Golden Flake" potato chips, and the owners expanded to keep pace with demand.
In 1956, Leo's son Sloan Bashinsky Sr bought Magic City Foods from his father and uncle. He changed the name to "Golden Flake" a year later and, in 1958 moved the production facility to its current 5-acre site. In 1963 he oversaw the acquisition of Don's Foods, a Nashville, Tennessee-based snack producer and distributor. The two companies combined their operations in 1966. Bashinsky's friendship with Alabama Crimson Tide football head coach Bear Bryant secured Golden Flake a favored spot right beside Coca-Cola on Bryant's weekly television program.
In the 1980s, Golden Flake expanded into new territory across the South and completed construction of a second production facility in Ocala, Florida in 1984. Sales increased to the $100 million mark as the company kept close tabs on the research and marketing done by the global giant Frito-Lay. The move into Florida proved costly as Golden Flake found itself in the middle of a war being fought by Frito-Lay and Anheuser-Busch's Eagle Snacks brand. Earnings drooped into the early 1990s as Bashinsky retired and handed the company to veteran employee John Stein, who served as Chairman until retiring in 2010.
In 2009, Golden Flake withstood the snack food peanut butter recall because its snacks were not made from the recalled products. It is currently the South's leading seller of fried pork skins.
On July 19, 2016, Golden Flake announced that it was being acquired by Utz Quality Foods.