PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Pennsylvania may not come to mind as one of the states with some of the most famous food brands in the country, but you will be surprised to know that many nationally-known food brands were founded in the Keystone State.
Here are just a few well-known food brands that got their start in Pennsylvania.
One of the most famous pretzel chains in the country, this company started out small in 1988 when Lancaster County native Anne Beiler bought a stand at a Downington farmer’s market. This was to help her husband Jonas offer free counseling services in their community. Beiler sold the company in 2005. This chain now has over 1,500 locations around the world in shopping malls colleges, travel plazas, and more.
This snack chip company was founded in Nottingham, Pennsylvania back in 1946 and is well known for making delicious snack foods. From cheese puffs to potato chips and more, Herr’s has been a staple in Pennsylvania since their inception. PA Eats states that the company has over 340 items on the market. The company even offers factory tours in their Nottingham facility.
Celebrating 100 years in 2023, this company was born (pun intended) in 1923. During that year, Sam Born opened a retail shop in New York but was moved to Bethlehem in 1932. It was one of the biggest employment sources in the town, along with the steel mills that were there. Nowadays, Just Born makes many iconic candies such as Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, and the famous Peeps.
Sheetz is not only known for being a gas station but has a massive fanbase when it comes to their food. This Altoona-based company is known for its 24-hour convenience and features many comfort food staples such as mac and cheese, popcorn chicken, and a coffee bar. The company was founded in 1952 by Bob Sheetz and continues to expand into many states with hundreds of stores.
Snyders of Hanover
You guessed it, Snyders of Hanover was founded in Hanover, York County. The company was started in 1909 by Harry Warehime as a small bakery. Throughout the years the company has grown to have sales on every continent (except for Antarctica). In 2010, the company merged with Lance Inc. and was then acquired by Campbell Soup in 2017. The company has a factory outlet in Hanover that sells endless amounts of its products.
Probably the most well-known Pennsylvania brand on this list, Hershey’s was founded by Milton Hershey. Hershey owned the Lancaster Carmel Company in 1886. He then sold that company in 1900 to begin his now-famous chocolate company in the area of Derry Township. Since then, Hershey’s has gone on to acquire some other famous brands such as Reese’s and Kit Kat products, and is known around the world.
Founded and still headquartered in Philadelphia, this snack food company is known for its variety of cupcakes and sweet treats. The company was established in 1914 and only sold its products in the Philadelphia region. In 2011, the company was bought by Flower Foods and has since started to expand its products outside of Pennsylvania.
Another company based in Hanover, York County, Utz has been around since 1921 selling potato chips. Now, the company sells all different types of snack foods under many different brand names. Public tours are offered at its factory in Hanover and according to PA Eats, Utz is the largest independent, privately held snack brand in the United States.
Headquartered in the Wawa area of Chester Heights, Delaware County, this convenience store chain has a huge following when it comes to its food and beverages. Founded in 1964 in Folsom, Pennsylvania, the chain now has 900 locations up and down the east coast and as far away as Florida. Many locations feature a coffee bar, small grocery sections, and more.
Founded in Pottsville back in 1829, this brewery holds the title of the oldest brewery in America. PA Eats states that the company is in its sixth generation. The factory in Pottsville holds tours and free samples of their famous beers. Their beer is now sold in over 20 states around the country. Between the company’s traditional lager to their Hershey’s flavored porter, there is something for everyone to try when it comes to this company.