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Happy Birthday, "Better Made"!


Sepiatone
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We here in DEE-troit still like to believe we build the finest automobiles on the road.  AND produce much of the "better" music heard on the radio!

 

But, ONE thing we still take a LOT of pride in, is our hometown brand of potato chip, BETTER MADE.

 

The company, along with their product, turns 85 today, and can STILL be easily found in stores and supermarkets all over Michigan!  Of course, the CHIPS in the bag ARE much newer!

 

When My Mother's side of the family(along with Mom) moved here to Detroit from the Pittsburgh neighboring city, mining/farm community of Hermanie in 1933, Better Made was still a fledgling company with little "manufacturing" places all over the city.  My Mom grew up near the old SENATE theater, where next door a small shop in which many bags of the chips were cooked and cellophane bagged and stapled shut were sold to movie theater patrons on their way into the moviehouse.  Shortly after, a big chip making and bagging plant was founded on Gratiot avenue, and is STILL there, STILL pouring out the best potato chips you're ever gonna taste!

 

Oh, yeah....there's plenty of competition...FRITO-LAY has offices and a plant nearby, but Better Made still outsells them here, and if you manage to find a bag anywhere you can find out why easily.

 

Now, my health situation, I feared might have brought about an end to my relationship with these wonderful chips, but, they make a "lightly salted" version of them that tastes almost as good, and my doctor, upon examining the contents and having his own lab analyze them in comparison of their nutrition label's claim, gave them the OK for me!  "Within reason, of course", he cautions, and I take it serious and only indulge in a moderate "pinch" of the chips on my lunch plate  ^_^

 

 

I sometimes think "regional" products are the best!   In fact, my favorite cherry preserves come from a company in BEULAH, MI.  In the HEART  of "cherry country"! :P

 

 

Sepiatone

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I sometimes think "regional" products are the best!

 

Well Sepia, like I've said before around here...you poor folks in the rest of the country other than in California, Nevada and Arizona ain't tasted THE tastiest chicken in ALL the world until you ordered that DEE-licious chili-lime glazed fire-roasted chicken at any El Pollo Loco location within the aforementioned states.

 

And not only is it great tasting, but it's ALSO a lot healthier for ya than that greasy stuff you'd get from any worldwide KFC location.

 

(...maybe someday IF you're lucky El Pollo Loco locations will be nationwide and then you'll see what I mean here!!!) 

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Sepiatone, I currently am driving 2 cars both built in Sterling Heights, Mich. One car is going on 17 years, still running strong with only a few maintenance  issues over its life. So yes, made in America can be a good thing, trick is to find something made in America these days.  I come from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country where, among other things, we are known for our pretzel making talents.  In fact out of high school I worked a couple of summers in a local pretzel factory.  Many years ago when my brother was in the Navy my mom sent him packages of "home" items like pretzels and  Lebanon Bologna. The other guys raved about these  "delicacies" that they couldn't get in their parts of the country. By the way, along with pretzels there are quite a number of potato chip companies here, some companies make both pretzels and chips.  And there is no better chocolate then the Hershey brand.

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Well Sepia, like I've said before around here...you poor folks in the rest of the country other than in California, Nevada and Arizona ain't tasted THE tastiest chicken in ALL the world until you ordered that DEE-licious chili-lime glazed fire-roasted chicken at any El Pollo Loco location within the aforementioned states.

 

And not only is it great tasting, but it's ALSO a lot healthier for ya than that greasy stuff you'd get from any worldwide KFC location.

 

(...maybe someday IF you're lucky El Pollo Loco locations will be nationwide and then you'll see what I mean here!!!) 

 

Do you own stock in El Pollo Loco?    Hey,  it is very good chicken and I would say the best 'fast food' chicken I have found.

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Made In USA is a big theme of my writing.

On our recent trip to Birmingham AL, we visited the Golden Flake Chip Factory. I was amazed to see the starch is removed from the potatoes. The guide told us they sell the starch to make packing peanuts. OK, potato chips are now officially back on my list of healthy snacks!

 

PA is famous for regional pretzels (UTZ is my fave) and candies. My favorite candy:

 

CompressedPeanutChew3.3oz8pc.jpeg.jpeg

Sadly, inferior but unique player in the biz, Just Born of Easton PA (nearby Crayon factory is now only a museum) bought out family owned Goldenberg's. I tried in vain to get an interview or tour, even the factory address in Philly is a tightly held secret!

 

Just discovered these guys based in Mt Vernon NY:

 

ballchainbuilding250.jpg

 

I really hope manufacturing makes a comeback in the US. The US needs many more entry level jobs that offer advancement for experience rather than degrees to spur innovation.

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Well, they're beginning to bring back some once well selling local products. like VELVET peanut butter.  And SANDER'S had started nationally marketing their candies and ice cream toppings and baked goods( like their "Bumpy Cake") for a while now.  Used to be SANDER'S ice cream parlors all over the tri-county area!  Both Sander's AND Truan's , their closest competitor.  Truan's still sells some candies at their factoy and a Dearborn MI store that's barely hanging on!

 

And we stil take pride in producing STROH'S beer and VERNOR'S ginger ale, along with FAYGO soft drinks!  Can't beat their CREAM SODA!  or RED POP.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Do you own stock in El Pollo Loco?    Hey,  it is very good chicken and I would say the best 'fast food' chicken I have found.

 

Nope, BUT James, you know that little part-time Sedona/Phoenix shuttle gig I have now, well almost every time I have a run down to PHX Sky Harbor Airport and have a layover of an hour of more down there before my pick ups and return, I almost always will eat at one particular of their locations near that airport. and in fact there were a few times I've run into the franchise owner of that particular location and who also owns 4 other locations in both San Diego and Phoenix, and every time I do I almost literally BEG the guy to open one up here in either Sedona or Cottonwood.

 

(...I tell ya, I never get tired of their DEE-licious chicken)

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...

 

And we stil take pride in producing STROH'S beer and VERNOR'S ginger ale, along with FAYGO soft drinks!  Can't beat their CREAM SODA!  or RED POP.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

I used to enjoy Stroh's. It was smoother than Bud without the watered down quality of some local brews (at the time.. which was almost 40 years ago). It sort of disappeared from the Metro Washington, D.C. area - alas.. This was before all those micro-breweries plagued the area.

 

I spent some time in Chick-A-Go during the summer of '76 and meandered about through Wisconsin for the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon concert at Brewer's Stadium - did some lakeside rock climbing. Stroh's was a good accompaniment to the <cough!> other stuff we were ingesting.

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Funny....Met a guy at the Cadillac plant I worked at who had(at the time) just moved to the DETROIT area from California.  Seems his WIFE was originally from here, and her DAD was able to get him a JOB at the plant, so he agreed to move!

 

But, he said ONE reason was...."THIS is where they brew STROH'S!"  It seemed in the part of California HE was living in coveted STROH'S beer as much as some folks around HERE used to try to cop COOR'S!   I never really understood the COOR'S thing in these parts.  After trying it back in "the day", it later seemed to me that Coor's making a "LITE" beer was kind of redundant!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Funny....Met a guy at the Cadillac plant I worked at who had(at the time) just moved to the DETROIT area from California.  Seems his WIFE was originally from here, and her DAD was able to get him a JOB at the plant, so he agreed to move!

 

But, he said ONE reason was...."THIS is where they brew STROH'S!"  It seemed in the part of California HE was living in coveted STROH'S beer as much as some folks around HERE used to try to cop COOR'S!   I never really understood the COOR'S thing in these parts.  After trying it back in "the day", it later seemed to me that Coor's making a "LITE" beer was kind of redundant!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

In the Washington, D.C. area, Coors was the 'forbidden fruit', so to speak. Everybody made a big deal about it because, at the time, it wasn't allowed East of the Mississippi - or some such, and everyone saw the placements in the latest movies. When I did try it many years later, I was so completely unimpressed - a major let-down. And Coors Light.. well.. as you said - what's the point? The Light has to be the worst excuse for a beer I have ever had.

 

Go Stroh's !

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