1940s Jean’s Foods Potato Chip

Framed Potato Chip
Jean’s Foods, Syracuse, NY
c. 1940s
Gift of Edward Becker, Fayetteville, NY

This framed potato chip was the first chip made by Jean’s Foods, a subsidiary of Jean’s Beans in Syracuse.  Jean’s Beans began in 1924 when Frank J. Childs, “started selling his wife’s beans out of the back of his car.”  Jean’s Beans then created a subsidiary company called Jean’s Foods to make and sell potato chips, salads, and fish from a take-out shop on East Fayette Street in Syracuse during the 1940s.  The food recipes came from Frank’s brother-in-law, Jean, who was a New York City chef at the time.  Jean’s Foods opened a potato chip plant and then offered store franchises.  Neil Fuller, a company employee, opened new stores in Elmira, Carthage, Ogdensburg and Watertown.  However, the stores were not ultimately successful, and all but the Watertown store closed by 1957.  The Watertown store, opened in 1953, continues today as the last remaining location.  It sports one of the early company logos and features the motto, “Buy Jean’s By All Means.”  In 1995, Jean’s Foods was acquired by Terrell’s Potato Chips, another Syracuse food business that still makes tasty potato chips today.