Gary-based Peerless faces struggles as snack independent

2014-03-15T11:51:00Z 2014-03-17T15:48:06Z Gary-based Peerless faces struggles as snack independentRob Earnshaw Times Correspondent
March 15, 2014 11:51 am  • 

GARY | A Gary-based snack company one of the last independents left locally, and the owner of Peerless Potato Chips has thoughts of getting out of the business.

In fact, he’s ready for someone to buy him out so he can move to Las Vegas.

“I’m an old poker player,” said John Hogg, 68, owner and president of Gary-based Peerless Potato Chips.

Hogg has been a part of Peerless for nearly 60 years. His dad founded the snack company in Gary in 1928 after losing a finger at Carnegie Steel.

“I used to come after school to take boxes off the trucks,” Hogg said. “I’ve been doing it all my life. But it’s not fun anymore.”

“There used to be gratification to this,” Hogg said. “It’s not fun anymore. It’s not so much about the product but marketing and promotion.”

Hogg said Peerless chips have a distinctive taste that people “either like or hate.”

“I think it’s because you actually taste more of the potato than the oil,” he said. “They’re not as oily.”

The people who like the chips go the extra mile to get them.

“We have UPS shipments out of here all over the country,” Hogg said. “There are people who moved out of the area and want the chips.”

There is no website for Peerless nor is there a Facebook or Twitter page. Hogg said he has no interest or time for social media.

“My plate’s pretty full right now,” he said.

Hogg has two sons who used to work at the facility during college but have moved on with degrees in computer technology.

“This outfit needs new blood,” Hogg said. “I need somebody to buy me out. I’m burned out.”

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