Mister Bee Potato Chips showcases the beauty of West Virginia’s New River Gorge
The 5oz bags will be unveiled tomorrow (Saturday, October 15) by representatives from Mister Bee, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRD), West Virginia Hive (NGRDA’s accelerator program), New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau in a specially erected Mister Bee/WV Hive Tent at the south end of the New River Gorge Bridge.
A rollout of the new packaging — designed by Asher Agency in Charleston — will follow in the coming days at local outlets in southern West Virginia and the Mountain State.
“We encourage people to join us on Bridge Day and enjoy the scenic beauty of the New River Gorge area,”said Mary Anne Ketelsen, President of Mister Bee, noting that 876 bags (representing the height of the bridge in feet above the New River) will be distributed.
Jina Belcher (Executive Director of NRGRDA) and Judy Moore (Deputy Director of NRGRDA and Executive Director of West Virginia Hive) were instrumental in forming the partnership with Mister Bee.
Admire the views
“Thousands of visitors from across the country and the Mountain State visit New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and enjoy the sights and experiences of southern West Virginia,”Belcher said.
“NRGRDA, the West Virginia Hive and the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) cannot move fast enough to respond to tourism, outdoor recreation, community development and business growth. Judy and I were made aware of Mister Bee’s interest in reaching more customers in our area, so we came up with a new chip bag that would celebrate the only chip company in the state as well as the new national park and the emergence of the New River Gorge region. ”
Moore added, “This success story is a great example of how the entrepreneurial ecosystem we’ve built in southern West Virginia can add value to long-standing businesses as well as new start-ups and start-ups looking to grow or pivot.
Ketelsen said this type of collaboration is one of the main reasons Mister Bee Potato Chips continues to grow so rapidly.
Voted the best food product made in West Virginia in 2021 by consumers, the woman-owned company has grown from 20 to 80 employees in the past two years.
Mister Bee Potato Chip Company was founded in 1951 by Leo and Sara Klein with snacks freshly prepared each morning and immediately dispensed by hand.
Leo Klein ran the business until his death at the age of 73 in 1979. It remained with the Klein family until it ran into financial difficulties in 2010.
Mister Bee was acquired by new owners in 2015 and now operates as the West Virginia Potato Chip Company.
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