The South's Original Potato Chip
How one hard working company captured people’s hearts (and stomachs).
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.
Magic City Food Products.
Frank Mosher, who came to Birmingham from Memphis, seeks out a partner to start a potato chip company that will ultimately become Golden Flake. Mosher knows how to make potato chips. All he needs is money. He finds his financial partner in Mose Lischkoff. The company launches in the basement of a Hill’s Grocery Store in north Birmingham.
Helen Friedman comes on the scene.
At this time, in addition to their principle product – potato chips, the company packages horseradish as well as peanut butter cracker sandwiches which are hand made and wrapped by hand as well. Mosher hires Helen Friedman to help out.
Mosher and Helen Friedman become romantically involved. Meanwhile, Mose Lischkoff decides that he could run the company better and offers to buy Mosher out, figuring that Mosher still didn't have the finances necessary to buy the company. Mosher goes to Helen and she and her mother loan him the money to buy out Lischkoff instead.
The Golden Flake Girl
Frank Mosher and Helen Friedman marry and she becomes Helen Friedman Mosher. By this time, everybody knows Magic City Food Products’ potato chip as “Golden Flake” and Helen as “The Golden Flake Girl.”
A marriage sputters and a company finds its stride.
In the late 20s through early 40s a lot happens. Helen’s marriage to Frank ends. But Helen’s association with the company continues in a big way as she receives the entire company in the divorce settlement. Under Helen’s leadership, the company reaches sales of nearly one million dollars over the next couple of decades.
The Golden Flake girl moves on.
By this time, Helen Friedman Mosher has married again to become Helen Friedman Mosher Gregg. Here, just after the end of World War II Helen sells Magic City Food Products to the Bashinsky family.
The company moves from the basement of the grocery store to a facility on Lomb Avenue.
Changes to name and ownership.
Sloan Bashinksy, son and nephew of the owners, has worked his way up in the company from route sales and production jobs. He buys the company from his uncle and father and changes the name of the company to Golden Flake, Incorporated.
New digs are underway.
Sloan initiates the construction of the 50-acre Birmingham corporate headquarters and an extensive manufacturing facility.
Thanksgiving Weekend, 1958.
The company moves from Lomb Avenue into its present location. There is much to be thankful for.
A pair made in snack heaven
Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, a close friend of Sloan Bashinsky becomes Golden Flake’s most revered spokesperson. During his show, he is always seen with a Coca-Cola and a bag of Golden Flake potato chips. “Great Pair,” says the Bear becomes a popular slogan.
COACH FRIENDS EVERYWHERE
Golden Flake isn’t just a University of Alabama friend. In fact, a number of SEC coaches are seen promoting our delicious chips. We even began sponsoring Auburn University around this time.
FROM PIGSKIN TO PORK SKINS
During the Bear Bryant era, Golden Flake adds pork skins to the team.
THE GOBBLER COMES ON THE SCENE
Before The Muppets ever hit the scene, Jim Henson, then a relative unknown, created the Gobbler for us. The Gobbler lasted until moms decided they didn’t like a monster that ate everything, even if he was a very friendly monster!
A TRULY GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
Golden Flake turns 50 and celebrates by adding our delicious Golden Flake Tortilla Chips to the lineup. By this time, we are already producing a corn chip that wins taste tests over its competitors.
IN A PICKLE
Golden Flake becomes one of the first snack food companies to produce a dill pickle flavored chip. Our competitors scramble to follow suit as the flavor gains popularity.