Hartley's Potato Chips has been in business since 1935, when J. Irvin and Gertrude Hartley began production at home with their six children, three boys and three girls. The potato chips were cooked in round kettles fired by wood. Mr. Hartley went door to door selling the product. As the company grew, more kettles were added until there were a total of eight. More people were hired to help, with one job being to split wood all day to fire the kettles. At this time, two of the Hartley boys were put on the road to sell the chips. World War II began and all three boys were called to arms. After the war, only two boys returned home; one giving his life for his country. Mr. Hartley passed away in the late 1940's, leaving Mrs. Hartley to run the business with her children.
In 1961, Gertrude Hartley sold the company to her daughter-in-law, Mildred P. Hartley, who was the widow of Howard, the son killed in war. Mildred owned and operated the business until 1990 when she sold the factory to her son, Carl Hartley, and grandchildren Daniel Hartley and Kellie Johnson. Soon after, expansion began with the addition of up-to-date packaging equipment and a new cookroom. Today, the 25,000 square foot facility allows production to accommodate distribution throughout Mifflin Co., State College, Altoona, Williamsport, Harrisburg, and parts of New York.
In 2000, Carl Hartley retired from the corporation leaving the family business co-owned by Daniel and Kellie.
Throughout the years, Hartley's has expanded their product line, from the original Plain and Waffle Bar-B-Q potato chips, to include No Salt, Sour Cream and Onion, Salt & Vinegar, Flat Bar-B-Q, and Plain Waffle Cut. Hartley's also offers other snack items such as Superthin Pretzels, Nuggets, Broken Sourdough Pretzels, and Cheese Curls.
Since 1935, Hartley's Potato Chip Co. has been a family owned buisness, working out of the original location and taking pride in the quality people expect.