The Way It Was
Better Made Snack Foods, 1971
photograph courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State Unversity (The Detroit News)
Crrrrunch! Countless Detroiters have emitted that satisfying sound after tearing into a sunflower-yellow bag of Better Made potato chips. In addition to the brand’s famous original, Better Made Snack Foods produces several other treats and chip flavors, including Sour Cream and Onion, BBQ Red Hot, and Salt and Vinegar. For those who like a mix of sweet and savory, there’s even a chocolate- covered chip. The company was founded in 1930 by Cross Moceri and Peter Cipriano, who were childhood friends. They’re pictured here in 1971 (Cipriano is at left) at the Better Made factory. In the early years, the company was known as Cross & Peters, but in 1934 it acquired the now-familiar Better Made name. The factory had several locations before making its east-side Detroit home on Gratiot near French, where it remains today. According to The Detroit Almanac, there were 20 potato-chip companies operating in Detroit in the 1940s, but only Better Made survived. Soon, Better Made will also become “better known.” The company recently announced its snacks will be available in 14 states.