“Bringing a new industry to Prince Edward Island and one which shows indications of going far due to the quality of the product is the Eastern Potato Chips Inc. of Souris. The five shareholders in the company expect to market their product in all the Atlantic Provinces and to this have arranged for representatives to sell their potato chips in the other provinces. The modern plant only went into production last week and as yet is not running at full capacity. The chips are being sold under the brand name ‘Spud Island’.”
- The Guardian, August 31,1954.
t full capacity the chip making machines are capable of making 200 lbs of chips per hour. For best chip quality, the variety of potatoes which lend themselves to suitable storage for chip making are the Irish Cobbler, Katahdin, Kennebec, Sebago, and for late season manufacture, Netted Gems.
At the Souris facility, the potatoes are put into a rotary-type washer which also removes the skins; they are then emptied into a loading platform and an automatic conveyor takes them into a slicer. After this they are carried through a long washing cylinder where they are thoroughly cleaned. From the final washing the chips are moved by conveyor belt to the long cooking machine. This is known as a ‘Ferry’ model cooking machine.
As the chips come from the cooking appliance they drop into large cartons. These are then carried over to where a group of girls are working to put them into the trade-marked packages, which in turn are sent along a conveyor belt to another girl who sends the packages through a sealing machine. Another employee thereupon packs them in the convenient small cartons in which they are shipped to the retail or wholesale trade.
The newly incorporated company has five shareholders: Messrs. J Brenton, St. John, N.B, MLA Melvin J McQuaid, Ronald R. MacDonald, Arthur MacDonald and Eugene MacDonald. The latter is the manager of the new plant and operator of the cooking machine.
Those who have already sampled the Souris, ‘Spud Island’ potato chips are in general agreement they are of first-rate quality, deliciously cooked and salted to perfection.
Potato Chip contest
GIRLS AND BOYS! Start getting your Christmas money early by saving ‘Spud Island’ potato chip bags and boxes, 25 lucky winners every month-October-November-December, 1957. 1st prize $25.00; 2nd prize $20.00; 3rd prize $15.00, 4th prize $10.00, 5th prize $5.00 plus 20 prizes each of one carton of ‘Spud Island’ chips.
Here’s how to win: each empty 5¢ chip bag gives you 2 points; each 10¢ bag 6 points; each 25¢ chip box 12 points. Send your empty bags and boxes to Atlantic Potato Chips Ltd., Souris, P.E.I. before the end of each month. Your points will be totalled each month and the 25 contestants with the largest number of points will win. A new contest every month. Winners will be announced in The Guardian or advised by mail. Employees of Atlantic Potato Chips and their families are not eligible to enter this contest.
The potato chip industry has come a long way since the first potato chips were cooked in Moon’s Lake Restaurant of Saratoga Springs, New York in 1853 by Catherine Wicks (died age 102). The future looks bright at Souris and it is one example which the Maritimes should find an increasingly profitable outlet for a major farm product-the potato.