The Ely's Potato Chip Co. was bought, owned and operated by the late August Janke II in the late 1950's. The company officially opened on Sept. 2, 1959 and was located at 815 1st. Ave. N., in Escanaba.
The company grew and eventually did the private label potato chips for A&P, Supervalu, Red Owl, Piggly Wiggly and Northland Grocers. The art work for the labels was done by August's wife, the late Dorothy V. Janke. She also operated the Garret Art Studio next to the Delft Theater on Ludington Street.
The Ely's Potato Chip Co. became one of the largest potato chip factories in the world and was Delta County's second largest employer in the 1960's.
Photos courtesy of Ted Janke
The family photo is of August and Dorothy, children, August, Christopher and Kathy. The German shepherd was Ginger. According to his brother, Ted Janke, Christopher died in a drowning accident when he was 8 years old. Does anyone know the names of the workers who are pictured in the other photos? If so, call Lifestyles at 786-2021, ext. 148.
August suffered a heart attack in 1969 and had to sell the company. It is now the current St. Vincent De Paul Warehouse.