Gibble's snacks coming back

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The crunch of Gibble’s chips, cheese puffs and pretzels should soon be heard again.

A Bowmansville snack maker announced Friday plans to revive the popular snack foods, which were discontinued under a previous owner. Plans are for chips, cheese puffs and pretzels to come back on the market in February and the rehiring of former Gibble’s workers to the 6647 Molly Pitcher Highway plant.

Robert and Amy Hartman of Lancaster County said in a news release they bought the brand and the manufacturing facility in Kauffman, just south of Marion on U.S. 11, where Gibble’s had been made for years after being founded by the Gibble family in 1959. In March 2013, three months after Eldon Dieffenbach bought Gibble's from Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe, he ended production. Ten months later the Hartmans plan to bring Gibble's Homestyle Potato Chips, Gibble's Original Cheese Flavored Cheese Puffys, White Cheddar Cheese Puffys, Gibble's Old Fashion Thin Pretzels and Gibble's Minis Pretzels back to grocery shelves starting next month.

“We believe in the brand and love the product...,” said Amy Hartman.

“We don’t want to change anything. We want to bring back the same quality product that people want and expect.”

The initial focus of reintroducing the products will be in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Hartmans expect to rehire 12 of the 30 former Gibble’s employees who were put out of a job when the plant shut down nearly a year ago. According to the news release, more could be brought back with more demand for the products.

While the price of the transaction was not disclosed, a deed transfer recently filed at the Franklin County Courthouse indicated a $1.4 million deal from A&E Dieffenbach Co. to Robert Hartman LLC, Molly Pitcher Highway. According to the news release, the purchase included the Gibble’s brand, trademarks and 65 acres that includes the 108,000-square foot  production facility. The 17,000-square-foot office building has a tenant.

The Hartmans said that a relaunch of other Gibble’s products, including Gibble's Red Hot Potato Chips, Gibble's Bar-B-Q Potato Chips and Kay & Ray's Potato Chips, will happen later.

The Hartmans’ businesses in Bowmansville are King's Quality Foods, a pretzel maker, and All Seasons Kitchen, a salad maker. They were purchased in 2012 and employ 35 people.