Fair   68.0F  |  Forecast »

Detroit Woman Keeps Better Made Potato Chips Fresh

In recognition of National Potato Chip Day on March 14, we check in with Better Made Snack Foods' quality and sanitation manager, Carolena Curry

Riding down Gratiot in Detroit, you can sometimes smell the Better Made potato chip factory's savory aroma from blocks away.

"There's nothing like a hot chip," Better Made quality and sanitation manager Carolena Curry says as she strolls through the sea of shiny, industrial machines. "The only bad thing is that I've gained a little weight since I started working here."

Curry, born and raised in Detroit, earned a degree in food science from Michigan State University. She's held jobs in the beverage, produce and even meat industries, but when she got to Better Made, she felt at home. Her role is to ensure that all of the products are up to par with the company's standards.

"We have the original owner's children running the place. They are the matriarch and patriarch," Curry says. "We see them daily. They are an intricate part of the operation. It's a good feeling. It's a family-owned business, and I think that's why it has lasted so long—because of that bond."

That's evident by the way Curry and other employees interact: waving, smiling and joking.

"We have people that have been here for 30 years; we also have people who have only been here for two months," Curry says. "We're a very close-knit family. That's a big part of why the company has been here so long. We all work together, and we're from all walks of life."

While they do have fun on the job, Curry says their first priority is putting out a great product. This facility processes an estimated 200,000 pounds of potatoes every day, most of which hail from Michigan for about nine months out of the year.

"It's really a pretty quick process; fairly hands-free," Curry says. Potatoes are washed, peeled, sliced, fried and go up a conveyor belt for packaging.

Better Made remains local, distributed mostly in Michigan and parts of Ohio and Illinois.

"We're working to expand, but you have to take care of home first," Curry says. "We want to remain the classic chip company that everyone knows and loves."

"We're a very close-knit family. That's a big part of why the company has been here so long."

Get some Face Time with BLAC. Got a cool job, badass business or inspiring mission? We want to hear from you! Email FaceTime@BLACdetroit.com with your name, phone number and why we should give you Face Time. Put "Face Time" in the subject line.
 

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »New Content

Best Restaurants Outside of Detroit this Summer

Best Restaurants Outside of Detroit this Summer

These metro Detroit eateries are worth the drive from the city to the suburbs.

Cecelia Sharpe, Founder of Urban Stringz II Youth Ensemble

Cecelia Sharpe, Founder of Urban Stringz II Youth Ensemble

The music educator found her passion in working with kids, and now she is sharing her love for song and instruments with a youth program in Detroit.

Local Detroit Firefighter Talks Ups, Downs of Job

Local Detroit Firefighter Talks Ups, Downs of Job

Firefighter Sivad H. Johnson of the Detroit Fire Department shares the struggles of working in emergency services.

African-Americans Find Home in Macomb County from Detroit

African-Americans Find Home in Macomb County from Detroit

Recently released 2013 U.S. Census data shows more Blacks are moving to historically White counties.