Why Cape Cod Potato Chips Owes Its Success To A Disastrous Car Crash

Chips just taste better with extra crispiness. Some of the crispiest chips around, kettle-cooked chips utilize a unique batch baking method that is unlike the typical continuous method more uniform-looking chips are made of, resulting in delightfully irregular chips (via The Takeout). There are a few chip brands out there making kettle chips in batches. However, one popular brand, Cape Cod Chips, almost didn't make it through its first year.

The kettle chip brand can now be found nearly everywhere but began with a single storefront in Hyannis, Massachusetts on July 4, 1980 (via Cape Cod Chips). As many small businesses do, Cape Cod Chips struggled to keep its doors open that first year. What they needed was a stroke of luck, but what they got was a car crash. What at first seemed like a freak disastrous event turned out to be the thing that would turn everything around and save the brand.

Cape Cod Chips took off after the crash made headlines

The founder of Cape Cod Chips, Steve Barnard, passed away in 2009. After his passing Barnard's daughter, Nicole Barnard Dawes, spoke with The New York Times about how Cape Cod Chips almost didn't make it. Cape Cod Chips opened in the summer of 1980 and by the winter, was on the verge of shutting its doors when an out-of-control car drove straight through the shop's front window. What could've been an absolute disaster, as Barnard's then 8-year-old daughter had been standing right where the crash happened just moments before, ended up being what saved the chip brand.

Luckily everyone was okay, and a seemingly oblivious customer walked past the wrecked storefront and ordered a bag of chips. The money from the insurance settlement helped carry them through the year but what really saved them was the publicity from the accident. The crash and the company's subsequent rebound were covered by many major news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune. Taking disaster in stride, Cape Cod Chips is now one of the most popular chip brands around.