If you've ever eaten Cape Cod Potato Chips, you know that on the back of the bag there's always a little map of how to get to the factory and it says if you're ever in the area you should come by for a tour!
So when my wife booked the Cape Cod vacation I suggested we check out the factory.
And so we did.
And it sucked.
There are signs all over the place as you head in for the tour: "No Photos", "No Video". I thought this was so you don't accidentally send off any top-secret information to competitors.
Turns out, I'm pretty sure it's because if you put up pictures or video, other people would see how terrible the tour is and not turn out.
It started out really promising - the tour is self-guided. I LOVE self-guided tours, because I don't much love having to be grouped with people I don't know and be led by a guide who I also don't know. Self-guided is just my speed.
But it turns out the tour was self-guided because all it involves is walking down a long (medium-sized, really) hallway and looking into some windows.
There's information posted on the walls along the way, but you don't really see any of the good stuff. You see a bunch of potatoes go into a machine. You see a whole bunch of potato chips on conveyor belts. You see a bagging machine, though you don't see the actual bagging. You see a bunch of people inspecting chips and putting bags into bigger bags and think that they must either really love Cape Cod Potato Chips or really hate their lot in life.
And then you open a door and you're in the gift shop. The tour might not have been what I was hoping for, (What was I looking for, you ask? Well, I thought we'd get to put on lab coats and goggles and walk through and see machines in all their glory and touch stuff) but I still love Cape Cod Potato Chips. So I loved the gift shop.
My in-laws spotted a chip clip with the Cape Cod Potato Chips logo on it. Sold. My only problem with the chips is when they lose their crispness because the bag isn't sealed tight. Not a problem anymore. And then I got a Cape Cod Potato Chip magnet.
We also got free samples. They let you take two of the small bags of potato chips on your way out. I took a new flavor (New Thing!) - roasted garlic and red pepper. I tried them later that day on the beach - they were a little too roasted garlicky and red peppery.
I was a little disappointed by the tour overall, but I'm glad we did it. It was just about 15 minutes from our hotel, so it was worth checking out. I couldn't imagine some chip enthusiast, though, from the west coast, say, coming all the way out just to walk down a hallway. I imagine that has to happen once or twice a year. I wonder if they complain to management and if anything is done to accommodate those folks.
I probably would have been furious if I had driven the 1 hour, 45 minutes from my house to check out the factory.
But I only drove 15 minutes. And they gave my daughters free potato chips. So we're cool, Cape Cod Potato Chips.