West Virginia potato chip company expanding into other states
PARKERSBURG — Starting in early July, Mister Bee’s potato chips will be entering a new territory for the first time in company history.
Mister Bee’s will be featured in stores throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., through Labor Day in September honoring military personnel.
The chips will be available to be purchased just in time for the Fourth of July, being stocked on Giant Food stores shelves starting Friday, July 2. The chips will be in specially marked chip bags that salute military personnel and a portion of every sale will be designated for the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro).
“It gets Mister Bee’s over into the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area, which we’ve never been in before. And there are a lot of people that live in that area now that grew up where they have tasted Mister Bee,” Mister Bee sales director Rob Graham said. “We’re hoping that Giant sees the results of this trial that we can turn a lot of products in that area, because we still have a fan base that lives in that area. For the new people who are buying it, maybe they’ll make that their third chip.”
Giant Food is headquartered in Landover, Md., and operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates.
“We met Mary Anne Ketelsen, CEO of Mister Bee, through our mutual philanthropic partner, USO-Metro,” said Felis Andrade, Director of External Communications and Community Relations at Giant Food. “It is a pleasure to introduce her delicious product and help our service members and their families at the same time.”
Ketelsen in a press release said her father, husband and several nephews were in the service and some are currently in the military.
“Our service members put their lives on the line for our country. USO-Metro brings military families together. From the minute a service member enlists, the USO is always by their side. Donating to the USO makes me feel like I am not just helping one, but many.” Ketelsen said.
Mister Bee Potato Chips and the Ketelsen family donated $100,000 to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore in 2020. In 2019, Ketelsen designed the 5-ounce chip bag to honor veterans and military personnel serving their country.
Mister Bee produces original, BBQ, sour cream and onion, honey BBQ, jalapeno, salt and vinegar and dip-style potato chips offered online or at retailers throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Its growing manufacturing plant in Parkersburg employs 47 people.