Gary-based Peerless Potato Chips, a staple in The Region for 90 years, has gone out of business. Owner John Hogg tells our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana there "wasn’t a way around" closing due to several major market factors. Hogg says the recent bankruptcy of Central Grocers Inc. of Illinois, parent company of Highland-based grocer Strack & Van Til, was the last straw.
Hogg is being treated for Stage 4 lung cancer and says Peerless products are being carried less and less often on store shelves. He has had discussions about selling the company, but says offers have either been too low or a deal didn’t materialize for other reasons. "We would love for Peerless to continue and these families have jobs, but we can’t just give this 90-year-old business away for nothing or wait around for them to come up with the money to buy, so the decision to close the doors wasn’t what we wanted but there wasn’t a way around that," Hogg tells The Times. "Between Stracks not paying and it getting harder and harder to compete with the likes of Frito Lay, we have been getting hammered on for a very long time."
A post from Monday on the company’s Facebook page reads "That’s all Folks, thanks for 90 years." Peerless Potato Chips has laid off around 15 employees as a result of the closure.