web analytics

Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips

If you’re not a Maui resident or haven’t visited the valley isle in recent time, chances are you haven’t seen these Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips for a while. Because of its current exclusivity to the Maui market, some folks may have even wondered whether this product or company that makes it still exists at all.

Well as you see by the bag presented here (mahalo to our Maui ohana for sending us a few bags!), Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips and the Maui Potato Chips Factory in Kahului who makes it are indeed still alive and well. Well, well enough to survive these tough economic times we’ve been dealing with, where local retailers and distributors around the islands have been streamlining their merchandising practices. Meeting demand has also been a challenge due to limited manufacturing capability with their current facility and manpower, and Maui Potato Chips Factory insists on maintaining quality control as their top priority.

That said, according to Mark Kobayashi, the third-generation owner and operator of the business, Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips are currently only available at select retail locations on the island of Maui or direct from their factory in Kahului.

Also, don’t go looking for fancy, say, “Maui Onion” or Lahaina Barbecue” flavors from Maui Potato Chips Factory, as they only offer one flavor, which is the good ole’ fashioned “regular” Maui Potato chips featured here.

The Kobayashi’s are actually the third owners of the business, where Mark’s grandfather Yoshio bought the business from former owner JJ Kohama, who in turn had carried on from the original founder of these Maui potato chips from pioneer Maki Nakamura.

As stated on the package, Maui Potato Chip Factory, under ownership by the Kobayashi family, began in 1956.

In case you’re wondering what the deal is with the name “Kitch’n Cook’d”, it turns out this was the trade name given by a turn-key franchise originally started by a businessman from Springfield, Ohio way back when. This franchise operation provided the potato chip manufacturing equipment, cooking process, and most importantly the “Kitch’n Cook’d” signature logo that we still see the packaging labeled with to this day.

This explains why you see the same Kitch’n Cook’d label on potato chips from a company in Kona, as well as one operating out of Virginia. These are all independent (non-related) Kitch’n Cook’d franchisees.


Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips – 4.5 oz. package, $4.50 direct from Maui Potato Chip Factory outlet.

Speaking of logo and label, ask anyone who grew up in Hawaii within the last several decades or so, and most will be remember back to “hanabaddah dayz” the distinctive red, yellow and clear plastic bag these classic Hawaii-made chips are packaged in. The label design is pretty much how I remember it when they used to carry the product here on Oahu.

As for the “DO NOT EXPOSE TO SUNSHINE” disclaimer loudly emblazoned across the top band, according to Mark, the reasoning behind that is that the heat and UV rays will cause the chips to go soft (taste stale) due to the cottonseed oil content and lack of chemical preservatives (a good thing!).

There’s no frills on the back of the packaging, which includes no other information except a bar code…

In the future I’d like to see at least a brief company history summary printed on back.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is how relatively greasy these chips are, which you can visually see the cottonseed oil they’re fried in lightly coating the inside of the clear plastic package (click on photos above).

Let’s see how they look out of the package…

Yup, even the chips look the same. They have that same, rustic, hand-cut appearance, with each and every chip having its own unique shape. Some more brown, some less than others. Notice some of the chips still have a little skin on them, which further enhances their hand-made appeal and flavor. The potatoes they use are the Idaho variety from California, specially grown for the chip manufacturing market.

They’re also still relatively thick and very crispy like every good kettle style chip should be. Seasoning-wise, I’m happy to say they’re salted perfectly, where I’m not running for the nearest water fountain after eating just two chips. Know what I mean? Being salted at the right level and being extra crispy, these were just begging to hit some dip.

Mark mentioned these chips tastes great when dipped into French Vanilla Ice Cream, so I tried it…


Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips with French Vanilla Ice Cream “dip”

Hey, that’s pretty good! It almost makes the potato chip taste more a snack wafer, while the salt on it punches out the French Vanilla flavor quite a bit. The coolness of the ice cream also helps cancel out some of the greasiness of the chip. Even if you don’t have a Maui Potato Chip, try it with any kettle chip you’ve got. You just might like it yourself. I bet it’d taste even better dipped into some (softened) Tasaka Strawberry or Pineapple Guri Guri!

Then I tried it with some Clam Dip…


Clam Dip

Of course, guaranz crispy potato chips that are salted just right dipped in clam dip is gonna’ be a winnah, as it was here.

Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips are available in 1 oz. ($1.00 factory outlet price) and 4.5 oz. ($4.50 factory outlet price) bag sizes. A 10 oz. bag ($10) is also available by special order direct from the factory. Retail stores on Maui who currently carry it include Long’s, Star Market, Foodland, Safeway, Ah Fook’s, ABC Stores and even Tasaka Guri Guri. Retail store prices are higher. Call for more information.

What? Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips
Who makes it? Maui Potato Chips Factory
295 Lalo place, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii 96732 Tel. 808-877-3652
Ingredients: Potatoes, cottonseed oil, salt.
Date of purchase: 5/1/09 (direct from outlet)
Big shaka to: Thick and crispy. Perfectly seasoned (wth salt). Tasty home-made flavor, including some skin on it! Rigid and seasoned just right for use as a dip chip. Nostalgic product and packaging. A made in Hawaii classic.
No shaka to: a little greasy (yet they always were that way). Only available on Maui.
The Tasty Island rating: 4 SPAM Musubi

Now to get my hands on a few flavors of Hilo’s famous Atebara’s Potato Chips!

57 thoughts on “Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips

  • February 15, 2012 at 7:27 am
    Permalink

    Can I place an order to be delivered to NJ? I ate them everyday while on my Honeymoon and ordered them one time years ago for an Anniversary present for my husband on my tenth and this May will be my 20th and hoped to be able to get them again.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    Permalink

    Best chips I’ve eaten, haven’t seen them in a few years, I am coming to Maui in June, 2012, hope to find them. I live in a small town, pop. 2500, when I ordered a case to be shipped they were nearly gone when I left the postoffice in Marietta, Oklahoma. Keep making great schips!

    Reply
  • April 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm
    Permalink

    all this info about the Maui chip but no where to buy them

    Reply
  • April 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm
    Permalink

    info info info but can’t buy them anywhere

    Reply
  • April 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm
    Permalink

    Where can I order these to be shipped to the mainland?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • April 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm
    Permalink

    You can purchase the chips by either calling 808-877-3652. I spoke to Dianne today and she told me that you will have to first send them a money order made out to Maui Potato Chip Factory
    295 Lalo Street
    Kahului HI 96732
    Double check for the pricing of state but I was quoted $33.00 for 4 bags of 4.25 oz bags. The price includes shipping. They also have smaller bags. I was told that the larger bags don’t have the cushion. I would call first just to make sure you are sending the correct amount. They can also send to APOs. Also make sure you add your contact info and where you would like the chips sent to. Dianne was very nice and I can’t wait to place my order. It’s pretty expensive but I want to see if they taste anything like the chips in Italy by San Carlo. We were there on vacation and these are the best chips I have ever eaten in my life but they don’t ship. If you ever go to Italy you must try the San Carlo potato chips. I hope these chips taste as good.

    Reply
  • November 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    Permalink

    I have not been back to Maui since 1994. The new wife and I was staying at Lahaina at a place on honoapiilani rd. I told her about Maui Kitchen Cooked chips,,she wanted some and I found them at Times market. It was not till I got home that I saw that I paid $7.29 for a 4.25 oz bag !!!I figured the cost at $27.44 a pound. I was going to scream in your face but I saw what they cost at your store,,,so I guess I’ll save the scream for Times mkt. I have been eating your chips since 1975, that is why I wanted the wife to have some,,and yes she enjoyed them also. Aloha,,another haole that loves your island..Maui no ka ‘oi

    Reply
    • November 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm
      Permalink

      Russ,

      $7.29 a bag at Times Supermarket? Sheesh! I can see that price at a convenience store near a resort area, but not at a supermarket where locals shop. Highway robbery if you ask me.

      Reply
      • December 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm
        Permalink

        I believe the Times the OP was referring to is in Honokowai, which is a tourist area. This could be why the price was over $7 although they’re not the cheapest chips around. I lived on Maui my whole life and actually prefer other chips over the Maui chips. IMO, they’re cooked too much. Ha, ha!!!

        Reply
        • December 7, 2012 at 5:15 am
          Permalink

          David,

          Well, we all know you can buy a HUGE bag of Kirkland Salt ‘n Pepper Kettle style Potato Chips from the Costco in Kahului for much cheaper per pound, which are personally one of my faves of the genre. HOWEVER, you can do that “ANYWHERE USA”. It’s part novelty eating these exclusively Maui-made potato chips (that you can’t buy ANYWHERE ELSE ON THIS PLANET), and having the bragging rights doing so. If you will. Right?

          Reply
  • December 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm
    Permalink

    These ARE the world’s best potato chips, a unique and enduring product far superior to its many fraudulent imitators. Interestingly, I have found that the owner, Mark Kobayashi, is more knowledgeable about current events in NASA’s space program than many of my science colleagues in California. I suggest that NASA select these chips as a prime energy source for astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars!

    Reply
    • December 7, 2012 at 5:07 am
      Permalink

      Dr. Goldberg,

      Obviously you got the BETTER batch, as compared to Mr. Shevock (see following comment). These really can be a hit or miss. I remember them as a kid being soggy and greasy, and far from being the BEST POTATO CHIP in the WORLD. However, the last few bags we’ve had were STELLAR as you noted. Worthy of a flight to Mars for sure!

      Only problem: they probably won’t hold up that well under such direct sunlight – especially factoring in no ozone layer or cloud cover to protect them whatsoever from the excessive heat and UV – as the bag’s disclaimer on the top yellow band clearly states. Imagine if the bag’s disclaimer stated “PLEASE DO NOT CONSUME BEYOND EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE“.

      Hey, with “Space Tourism” coming soon, food manufacturers just might have to label their products as such! I wonder how a can of Coca Cola holds up in space? Or how about Pop Rocks? I’m thinkin’ basic things like fresh bread, milk and eggs don’t fare so well up there. Or anything “fresh” for that matter.

      Reply
  • December 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm
    Permalink

    My wife and I used to LOVE these chips because they were so flavorful from all the grease used in making them. That is why the bag warned about being exposed to sunlight. On a recent trip to Maui, we bought a bag, being shocked that the bag has now shrunk, and the price is up to $6.99 retail! Worse of all, the chps were not good. They lost all the grease in the bag that once gave them their characteristic flavor, and now they were dry and overcooked! In effect, they sucked. We won’t be buying them ever again…..

    Reply
    • December 7, 2012 at 4:54 am
      Permalink

      Frank, in defense of Kitch’n Cook’d, keep in mind that these are practically HAND-MADE (using antiquated manufacturing equipment, hence the brand name), as compared to the mass-produced potato chips by major manufacturers, so it’s expected to have variations in quality and doneness from bag to bag, price notwithstanding. Add to that the higher cost of lower production, and overall extremely high cost of doing business in general in Hawaii (taxes, real estate, labor, etc.), and it’s no wonder most food products made in Hawaii (including this) are considerably more expensive than their mass-produced counterparts from the mainland.

      Most products labeled “Made in Hawaii” (that truly are) are going to carry a relatively premium price tag.

      I’d say give another bag ‘o these a shot if you’re back on Maui again. Try it dipped in some Vanilla Ice Cream. Surprisingly ono like that! Oh, and don’t forget to visit Tasaka Guri Guri and Sam Sato’s for some Dry Mein. Another Maui MUST!

      Reply
  • May 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm
    Permalink

    Aloha!

    I remembered Maui’s Kitch’n Cook’d Potato Chips from 40 years ago during my university days in Hawaii and it was a pleasant surprise to encounter them in Maui recently! It was like stepping back in time tasting them again! Hopefully they can utilise a retail outlet on O‘ahu in the future since their product is so unique – especially compared with the mass produced versions. Let’s pray their equipment can manage another few decades!
    Much mahalo, :-))
    Gary

    Reply
  • July 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm
    Permalink

    Aloha and Mahalo Pomai for all your wonderful comments.

    We have just returned to Australia after an amazing holiday on Maui and I am desperate to order some of these scrumptious chips for my husband (ok, and me too!!) to be shipped to us in Australia. I would like a big box full. Can I order them online? Pomai, are you able to help?

    Mahalo, Lorraine

    Reply
  • July 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm
    Permalink

    :fingersxd:

    Thank you so much (this is a smiley face with fingers crossed)!

    Lorraine

    Reply
  • July 22, 2013 at 10:08 am
    Permalink

    Aloha Lorraine,

    I just spoke with Diane Kobayashi, wife/owner of Maui Potato Chips Factory. Here’s the current deal: Maui’s own Kitch’n Cook’d Chips are currently available for retail sales at most major Maui grocery stores for about $5 per 4.5 oz. bag. You can also buy them direct at their factory outlet for a bit less than that.

    They currently don’t do eCommerce, and they’re not sold anywhere else but on Maui, except soon at one Longs Drugs location on Oahu, at the former Star Market in Mo’ili’ili, however that won’t start until next week (yay!).

    They can also ship a case of twelve 4.5 oz. bags to Oahu for $75, including shipping and tax. So that’s about $12 additional over local retail on Maui for the shipping here in the neighbor islands. Not bad, actually.

    They can also ship (by air) to the mainland US at variable rates, depending how far, of course.

    However, they DO NOT ship to foreign countries, including Australia. (sorry)

    All factory-direct orders to the neighbor islands of Hawaii and the U.S. Mainland are paid through money order, no credit cards.

    So basically your only option if you have no other connections in Hawaii, would be me, where I could have a case of 12 bags shipped to my doorstep here on Oahu for $75, then ship them to you to Australia, however I’m not sure how much the additional shipping will cost to do that. I’m estimating at least an additional $25 (U.S.) or so, depending on the method. If you have shipping connections, that would help!

    FYI, Dianne said they have no plans on increasing the volume of their operation for wider distribution, as being hand-made the old-fashioned way is part of the romance of their exclusive Made in Maui kettle-style Potato Chips. I agree!

    If you have any questions, call the factory direct at 808-877-3652 during weekly business hours HST. Nice folks!

    Reply
    • July 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm
      Permalink

      Aloha Pomai,

      Thank you so much for all your wonderful advice and the effort you have gone to. Thank you also for your kind offer of on-forwarding the chips to Australia for me, that was very generous.

      Considering we would be looking at approximately $100 US for 12 packets of chips, we feel this is a little too expensive, despite the chips being soooo good.

      We will just have to wait until our next visit!!

      Mahalo again so much.

      Lorraine

      Reply
      • July 23, 2013 at 4:44 am
        Permalink

        Lorraine,

        You’re very welcome. I was about to say, it’s not going to be the same, anyway, eating those chips in Australia. Especially after paying that much for them, which might dim the appeal. Often times, regional specialties just have to be eaten there where’s it’s made. It’s not the food or dish itself, but the ambiance and surroundings you’re at where you’re enjoying it. I’d much rather be eating Maui Chips sitting on my hotel balcony overlooking the ocean in Kihei or Wailea, or hanging out at Little Beach Makena, than sitting watching TV in my living room here on Oahu (which ain’t all that bad either, but just sayin’).

        Surely Australia has its own great selection of kettle style potato chips (thick cut, deep fried and extra crispy). My favorite brand from our local Costco is none other than the Kettle brand, particularly the Salt & Pepper flavor. Oh, so good!

        Reply
        • July 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm
          Permalink

          Aloha Pomai,

          Yes, you’re absolutely right! With it not being realistic for us to export the chips to Australia it gives us a good excuse to come back soon!! Not that we need a reason, we LOVE your precious little spot in the world.
          I can’t believe how helpful, informative and kind you have been, not only to me but all the way through your blog. You are a very generous person.
          Mahalo nui loa.

          Reply
  • May 30, 2014 at 9:20 am
    Permalink

    $100 for 12 bags of Maui Chips is well worth it!

    Reply
  • November 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm
    Permalink

    Hi

    was great finding this page

    while on my first visit there 30 years ago I discovered these chips in Maui

    fell in love with them and was going to bring many bags home with me to Canada

    after leaving the island to the next I was very disappointed to learn only available on Maui

    i now survive by having friends who are visiting bring me some back…

    they love my how you can only get them on Maui story…found this site because I’m eating my

    first of 3 bags brought to me today :)

    Reply
    • November 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm
      Permalink

      p.s. can they be shipped to Canada ?

      Reply
  • October 25, 2015 at 9:10 am
    Permalink

    HOW MUCH TO MAIL 3 10 OZ BAGS TO Las Vegas, NV?

    Reply
    • October 25, 2015 at 10:23 am
      Permalink

      Lauraleigh,

      See my very detailed (and researched) reply to Lorraine a few comments up. ;-)

      Reply
      • April 28, 2016 at 11:43 am
        Permalink

        They don’t answer the phone, so we can order.

        Please advise.

        Reply
  • January 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    Permalink

    My grandfather was JJ Kohama.He would bring us big paper bags of chips. In the paper bag it would not get stale as the bag would soak up the oil. I remember going to the factory and seening bags of potatoes. My dad would sometimes make chips for us at home.

    Reply
  • March 22, 2017 at 6:45 pm
    Permalink

    When we lived on Maui in 1978, it was really hard trying to buy more than 5 bags at a time to take back to Oahu. I’d go to Noda’s Market in the Kahului Shopping Center because it was walking distance from my office to get 5 bags, then my co-worker would go and get another 5 bags. The rationale being that Noda’s only got a ration of chips for the week so they wanted to make sure all customers would be able to buy. It sorta made sense at the time. And it made those bags of chips more precious than gold. :)

    Reply
    • March 22, 2017 at 9:53 pm
      Permalink

      khs68,

      It’s interesting that the bags still say not to keep the bag out in the sun. This, being the oil in the chips will make them soggy. As for distribution, I talked with the owner, and he said he simply doesn’t make enough to warrant the marketing involved for island-wide distribution. So you can currently only get them on Maui.

      When you lived on Maui, have you ever visited Takamiya Market in Wailuku? that little mom ‘n pop shop is BOMB DOT COM!

      Reply
  • March 22, 2017 at 11:31 pm
    Permalink

    Yep, used to go to Takamiya’s just to get the cascaron after eating at Sam Sato’s. I thought it was weird that a japanese market would have filipino food, but that’s how it was on Maui. In fact, I used to go to Noda’s to pick up filipino style bento for lunch; rice and pinakbet or pansit and pride pork. I really learned how tasty filipino food was living on Maui. Elena’s lunchwagon comes to downtown twice a month so hubby brings home plates for dinner on those days.

    Reply
    • March 23, 2017 at 5:39 am
      Permalink

      khs68,

      Aunty, don’t even get me started on Sam Sato’s! When I first heard about their famous “Dry Min” (Dry Noodles), I went NUTS on the concept. I mean I knew about Tsukemen, the Japanese Ramen version, but the way Sam Sato’s does theirs is more like the Chinese/Japanese stir fried saimin style. I have several posts on Sam Sato’s in Wailuku here, here and here. Plus my own attempt at making “Dry Mein” here.


      Sam Sato’s Dry Noodles, $4.95 (small)

      Now look at my attempt at recreating the dish


      The Tasty Island’s Project Dry Mein, exhibit C

      As for that local style of fried saimin noodles, sans the broth on the side, the best Fried Noodles I’ve had here on Oahu is from Sato’s Okazuya out in Waipa-HOO!


      Sato’s Okazuya “Famous” Fried Noodles

      Sounds like you’re into Filipino food. Have you ever tried Naty’s Kitchen in the Maunakea Market in Chinatown? Awesome! A little sketchy because of the area’s cleanliness reputation, but still, their Filipino grindz is some of the best I’ve had. Pinakbet and Dinuguan for the win there!

      If  you ever shop at the Kaheka Don Quijote, check out their plate lunch deli, right between the seafood and meat department, where all the warm bentos and sushi are. The cook there is this middle-aged Filipino man, and he is AWESOME! That guy cranks out some of the best Pork Guisantes, Pinakbet, Pork Adobo and Pancit I’ve had. Arguably as good if not better than Naty’s Kitchen.

      Back to Maui, gotta’ throw in the love for Tasaka Guri Guri! Da’ ichiban best! And like these potato chips, another ono ‘kine grindz gem you only can get on Maui!


      Tasaka Guri Guri (strawberry and Pineapple)

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *