As a company rooted in family since the beginning, we proudly continue to be family-owned and -operated.
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Since 1946, we’ve been making exceptionally delicious snacks. You can always trust that you’re getting an exceptional snack that’s made by our family for yours to enjoy.See our family history
As the current president, CEO and spokesman of Herr Foods, Ed Herr follows in his father’s footsteps of putting product quality and business integrity first.
J.M. has worked at the family business for more than 45 years and currently serves as Executive Chairman. He and his wife Lois have been married over 40 years and have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
The man that started it all, Jim Herr founded our family’s snack company over 70 years ago, creating a Forever Good legacy of kindness, persistence and integrity.
James S. Herr broke away from his family’s business of chicken farming to build up his very own snack company — one that continues to thrive, over 70 years later.
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James Herr buys potato chip company for $1,750
Herr Foods Inc.’s story began in 1946 when 21-year-old James Stauffer Herr buys a small potato chip company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for $1,750. In 1947, the business moves into a vacated tobacco shed on the Herr family farm. As he learns more about the business, Jim Herr develops new and better cooking processes and a delicious snack food becomes even better. As demand for Herr's Potato Chips grows, so does the company.
“Mim Hershey, will you marry me?”
In September 1946, Jim Herr proposes to Mim Hershey after an annual farm show in West Lampeter. Five months later, they are married in the Hershey family's house in Paradise.
In the spring of 1949, Jim located a 3,600-square-foot bakery facility available for rent in the small town of West Willow, Pennsylvania. The bakery, along with an adjacent house, became workplace and home for Jim and his wife Mim.
Factory fire threatens the future
On September 5, 1951, Herr's experiences a major disaster. Late in the afternoon, Jim is headed home from his deliveries, and Mim is preparing the evening meal, when the fire breaks out in the plant. Although the equipment had been shut down for the day, cooking oil had dropped onto a hot fire brick and burst into flames. The potato chip factory is consumed by the fire.
Welcome to Nottingham
With help from family, friends and the bank, the Herrs buy 37 acres and build a new 4,500 square-foot plant. Jim Herr equips the new plant with its first automated cooker, an early example of the company's commitment to innovation and quality. From the beginning, Jim adheres to his underlying business philosophy of providing quality products, at competitive prices, and backing them up with honesty and dependable service.
Expanding - New Warehouse
By 1956, just ten years after its inception, Herr's®Potato Chips was well-established with an expanding customer base. To accommodate the growth, the company built a 7,000-square-foot warehouse for storage of its allied products.
"You want to BBQ what?"
In 1958, after careful consideration, Herr's begins adding seasoning to its potato chips. The barbecue chip is the first flavored chip the company tries, and it is still in production today. Over the years, the company has added a number of flavors, including Sour Cream & Onion, Old Bay, Salt & Vinegar, Pizza, Red Hot, Dill, Cheddar Horseradish and many more.
Herr's Becomes Herr Foods Inc.
Growing Company has first TV Commercial
The company doubled in size by constructing a 21,000 square-foot production facility in a field behind the Herr family's house. The company began a generous profit-sharing program for its employees. This year they also aired their very first television commercial.
In 1964, Herr's® embarked on a packaging venture that helped revolutionize the company's sales. For years, Herr's® chips were sold in wax paper bags for 5, 10, and 15 cents a bag, depending on size. Herr's®also offered a twin pack (two bags inside a larger cellophane package) at 49 cents. A packaging salesman convinced Jim to try selling chips in a 20-ounce cardboard barrel. The barrels resembled the popular, wax-lined ice cream cartons and could be assembled affordably on site. The sturdy barrels would prevent chips from breaking and protect them from light, which preserved freshness.
Growing, Growing, Growing!
In 1968, the company operated 35 sales routes out of Nottingham and five from New Jersey. An additional 23,000 square-feet was added to the plant. The new space provided more room for cooking, packing, and potato storage. A year later, Herr's® added 8,000 square feet of new stock rooms.
Jim Herr: Businessman of the Year
As the company expands, Jim Herr's reputation as an exceptional businessman grows as well. In 1969, Jim is named Pennsylvania's Businessman of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Herr's purchases a small manufacturing plant in Chillicothe, OH to make potato chips.
More than a chip company
To keep up with consumer demand, Herr's begins producing a number of new products: 1976 cheese curls; 1978 popcorn; 1981 pretzels; 1983 corn and tortilla chips; and 1984 onion rings.
James S. Herr becomes President of Snack Food Association
Jim returns to his farming roots
By the early ‘80s, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is enforcing stricter waste disposal legislation. Jim Herr’s search for a creative solution ends in his own backyard — negotiating a deal with a young couple to help him establish Herr Angus Farms. Today, the farms produce wheat, soybean, corn and barley, while acting as recycling centers for the production factory’s potato peels, rejected food products and wastewater.
In 1988, Herr's expands snack sales internationally and is now available in over 37 countries around the world.
Potato chip factory turned tourist attraction
In 1989, Herr’s constructs a 15,000-square-foot visitor center adjacent to the plant. On weekdays, tour guides lead visitors through the center and the plant — ending with visitors getting a fresh potato chip, right off the production line.
The Next Generation
Also in 1989, the second generation of Herr family members began to take their place at the executive level of the company. James M. Herr, son of the founder, became President of Herr Foods Inc.
Recognized by the NFIB
James S. Herr becomes the Chairman of the National Federation of Independent Business
The James S. Corporate building was built.
Reaching a milestone
The company reached $100,000,000 in annual sales
James M. Herr becomes CEO; Ed Herr becomes company spokesperson
Going back to the past
Kettle chip production begins in the Nottingham facility
James S. Herr becomes "Founder", while James M. Herr is named Chairman. Ed Herr is named President.
Plant #2 is established
In 2008, a second plant is built to house the new extruded snack line and baked lines, greatly increasing the capacity in these areas.
Good Natured Selects
In 2013, Good Natured Selects is introduced. Herr’s purchases a portion of Silk City Snacks in Clifton, New Jersey. (The deal is finalized in 2015.)
In 2015, Herr’s introduces a new snack line under the name, Go Lite!, which focuses on lighter snacking options.
A promising future
In 2016, J.M. Herr is promoted to executive chairman, and Ed Herr steps in as the company’s new president and CEO. The Herr family continues to introduce innovative products and packaging. Herr’s currently makes more than 340 snack items, and with a dedicated sales force and a localized distribution network, the highest standard of service and the freshest-quality snacks are provided, today and every day.
Welcoming the 3rd Generation
The company announces plans for the 3rd generation to move into executive positions; Troy Gunden as Executive Vice President, Jim E. Herr as Vice President of Marketing and Research & Development, Jeremiah Thomas as Vice President of Manufacturing.
Photograph by Tessa Marie Images.