The Cape Cod Potato Chip Company's factory is open to the public for tours Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. We recently enjoyed the tour and share the following Chip Tour Journal.
Here's the first sign you're near Chipland as you approach the factory on Breed's Hill Road.
The factory is located in an industrial area near Hyannis. Whoever built that sign had their priorities straight, giving the chips factory its rightful place at No. 1, edging out Harvey Industries, and two spots ahead of a nearby Burger King.
Here's Keith outside the front of the Cape Cod Factory, right before you enter the building and start the tour. It's a short walk from the parking lot to this spot. The signage is good, and judging by the lines painted in the lot, those on the way to the tour and the size of the parking lot, this place must see many, many visitors during the summer. And why not: It's free, informational, and you get two free bags of chips at the end. Sounds like the best attraction on the Cape to me. The smell of potato chips is really, really strong at this point. And that's a good thing. In fact, when you get within about a quarter-mile of the place, you can start smelling it. If you can read it, note the second paragraph on the right-hand side of sign. That's the one I pretended not to notice.
Here's a close-up view of the sign.
Here's Keith giving me that "For God sakes, put the camera down" look again. I'm used to it, and strangely I never obey. And aren't you glad I didn't? Here's the aptly-named self-guided tour in its entirety. You couldn't get lost if you tried because all you do is walk down the hallway. Lining the wall on the left is the history of the company, its products and some photos. The right side of the wall has windows that look into the plant. This is where you see chips being made and where the hairnetted workers look about as happy to be gawked at as animals in a zoo.
This shot is dark because I was trying to mute the flash so we didn't get kicked out (that was Keith's biggest concern). If that had happened, we wouldn't have gotten our free chips. Don't ask me to explain what is going on here, all I know is that potatoes go in and chips come out. If you can see it, the employee has a rake (yup, just like the one in your shed), which he is using to corral chips down the river of oil on which they're floating and into the barrel. It's a similar effect to the happy Krispy Kreme donuts floating down their river of oil, but at Krispy Kreme there's no rake involved.
Chips on a conveyor belt. Believe me, folks, this is much more exciting in person. This is near the end of the "tour" right before you hit the gift shop. I didn't get a picture of the gift shop, but it's stocked with all things Cape Cod-y: chips, pretzels, shirts, magnets, bags you get the picture. Plus, this is where you pick up the most sought-after free bag o' chips. The tour is a great, fun, and incredibly free take: quite the bargain on pricey Cape Cod.
Here's Keith taking in the action. The hallway dumps you into the gift shop. Another good thing because by the end of the "tour" you have never wanted chips more in your life. Right before you hit the gift shop, there's a bulletin board on the left wall with e-mails from Cape Cod chip fans.