Cross and Peters company was founded in Detroit on August 1, 1930. The company was named after the founders’ first names, Cross and Peter. Both set goals to make a better potato chip, hence the brand name, Better Made Potato Chips. In 1934, the company was incorporated by the founders, the late Peter Cipriano and the late Cross Moceri.
Better Made became not only a brand name but a way of doing business. Even in the early days of the company, only the best ingredients and methods were used. At first, production was simple. Burlap-bagged select potatoes were cooked in the best oil available, weighed, and hand packed into crude greaseless bags. Distribution was chiefly through the company’s own store outlets, which later grew into small delivery routes.
Today, however, Better Made uses over 50 million pounds of choice potatoes every year and the entire process is a little more complex. The potatoes are purchased in bulk (45,000 to 85,000 pounds per truck load) and unloaded from semi-trailers which are raised by a hydraulic lift. The potatoes are then transported by conveyors to storage bins. When needed, the potatoes are automatically conveyed to the fryers where they are washed, peeled, sliced, and inspected. Next, the potato slices are conveyed to high-temperature controlled cookers, where only 100 percent cottonseed oil is used. The cooked chips are then lightly salted and automatically advanced by an overhead vibrating conveyor system to automatic packaging machines that weigh, form, fill, and seal the finished bags. Better Made’s Original Potato Chips use all natural resources and are untouched by human hands from the time the potatoes leave the farm until you bring the crunchy chips to your mouth.
Through the years Better Made has expanded its production to include Potato Sticks and Air-Popped and Kettle-Popped Popcorns. Also the company’s sales force has evolved into over 175 route sales people servicing over 10,000 customers throughout most of Michigan, Toledo, OH and Chicago.
All of Better Made’s potato chip and potato stick products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. Better Made chose OU certification because it is the best known and most widely accepted kosher certification in the world. In addition, many consumers consider OU certified products as having better quality than products without the certification. From a marketing perspective, having the OU symbol on your package adds another layer of credibility to your products. Currently, Better Made is working on obtaining OU certification for its popcorn items.
Rabbi Aharon Brun-Kestler is Orthodox Union rabbinic coordinator for Better Made.