From trash to Oprah: Detroit potato chips make it big

- Oprah's list of her favorite things is out once again, and a Detroit company snagged a coveted spot on the list.

Detroit Friends Potato Chips not only makes a nice, crisp chip, but the process behind the chips has helped revitalize an area of the city.

Michael Wimberley has a soup kitchen in Detroit's Hope District, and his team grows potatoes, makes the chips and sells them with the money going back into the soup kitchen.

"To help revitalize the Hope District of Detroit, Michael Wimberley repurposed vacant lots into community gardens to grow potatoes locally, creating job opportunities and a terrific chip that actually tastes like a sliced potato. I'll snack to that!" Oprah wrote on her website.

"It really is a miracle for this to have happened," Wimberley tells us. He says they were just contacted out-of-the blue by Oprah's team.

Detroit Friends Potato Chips has been making chips for about 7 years. The team started planting potatoes in some of the vacant land in their area and made chips, just to see what they could come up with. Wimberley admits, though, that the first few rounds weren't great.

"When people who came to our soup kitchen, they threw them away. And these are people in a soup kitchen throwing chips away!" Wimberly laughs. "It took us years and years of just messing up potatoes until we figured it out."

Their chips are for sale at a few Detroit shops. You can get those locations or order your own on their website, www.detroitchips.com.  

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories