New owners for Rockford’s Ole Salty’s Chips

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Two Rockford couples are breathing new life into a childhood favorite snack.

Ole Salty’s officially has new owners, and the family entrepreneurs painted a picture of what they plan to do with the stateline staple.

Potatoes, oil and salt are the simple ingredients that go into making Rockford’s very own Ole Salty’s.

“It’s been less than a month since we took over, but it’s been very busy,” said Brandon Wilhelm.

Brandon and Sara Beth Wilhelm, along with their best friends, recently bought the chip business.

“So when I found out that it was maybe a possible acquisition, I was really interested, so I talked to Sara Beth and our friends Stan and Ally, and they were excited about it too, so we ended up making an offer,” Brandon said. “So, now we’re in the potato chip business, which is a lot of fun.”

For Brandon, it was an opportunity to keep one of his favorite snacks alive in the stateline.

“I grew up in Rockford and graduated from Guilford High School, and Ole Salty’s was always my favorite chip, ever since I was a little kid,” Brandon said. “So, I remember this going way back into the 80’s, having them at BBQ’s and family events.”

Brandon and Sara Beth said that they want to keep the original essence of the Ole Salty’s brand.

“The number one question that I’ve gotten so far are is, ‘are you going to change the original recipe?’ and that’s a solid no, we are not going to do that,” Sara Beth said. “It’s what’s made Ole Salty’s so famous, and it works.”

The process of making the chips takes anywhere from five to 10 minutes. The potatoes are hand-cut by an employee, then placed in the fryer and cooked to 285 degrees, at which point they are seasoned and packed up.

“We want to provide the best possible service for our customers at the same time, so that’s our goal, and give back to the community and keeping local businesses locally owned, and keeping local people employed is what we’re excited about,” Brandon said.

Ole Salty’s has more than just chips. There is also specialty popcorn, with flavors like caramel corn, cheddar and “Zebra Crunch.”

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