So far this blog has covered many (if not most) of the well-known “old school”, classic snack chips made in Hawaii. All of whom have a long, multi-generation history in the islands, with humble beginnings of the companies behind them.
One company I’ve (surprisingly) never heard of that dates back to being founded in Hawaii way back in 1929 is Nip’s Potato Chip Factory. 1929!
Diner E was in Alicia’s Market the other day when he happened to spot fresh new packages of Nip’s Shrimp Flavored Chips on the shelf there. When he told me about “Nip’s Potato Chips”, I told him it didn’t ring a bell.
Well for him it did, as seeing it once again immediately triggered his “Hanabaddah Dayz” alarm, remembering Nip’s brand Potato Chips that once filled the neighborhood mom ‘n pop shops he frequented in Kalihi where he grew up. A product he hasn’t seen (or noticed) for quite a long time since. Apparently some things never change, as here it is, still found almost exclusively in a Kalihi mom ‘n pop mini market.
Yet today there are some changes at Nip’s Potato Chip Factory, as according to my very brief conversation with Norman Nip, current owner/operator and son of founder James Nip (Chinese family), the company no longer makes Potato Chips or Taro Chips due to the “economic conditions”.
For now (only for now hopefully!), all that remains in the product line are their Shrimp flavored Chips…
As for the currently available Nip’s Shrimp Chips, according to Norman Nip, they can only be found at Alicia’s Market in Kalihi and select Long’s Drugs Stores on Oahu.
Gotta’ say, that pink Shrimp Chip in the center looks kinda’ like the tongue for the Rolling Stones logo. lol
As for the taste and quality of Nip’s Shrimp Flavored Chips, they’re pretty much standard fare for the genre, while thankfully being crisp, light and not greasy at all. My main suggestion is that they could use a little more salt. As it was, other than their shrimp-flavored undertone, they were kinda’ on the bland side.
In comparison, I’d have to admit the widely distributed Frito Lay’s Maui Style Shrimp Chips have considerably more flavor and even better texture than these.
Still, gotta’ support the local mom ‘n pop companies like Nip’s, with a history that goes back decades in our islands. Hopefully we’ll once again see Nip’s Potato Chips and Nip’s Taro Chips join their long-standing Shrimp Chips, along with many more varieties fill store shelves around the islands and beyond!
If you have memories of Nip’s Chips, please share!
What? Nip’s Shrimp Flavored Chips
Who makes it? Nip’s Potato Chips Factory
Pohukaina street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 Tel. 808-593-8549
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Alicia’s Market @ $2.95 per 2-1/2 oz. bag
Big Shaka to: Light ‘n crispy; not greasy. Long history of being in business in Hawaii (established 1929!). “Hanabaddah Dayz” appeal.
No Shaka to: Needs more salt. Only one product in current company line-up. Very limited retail distribution on Oahu.
The Tasty Island rating: 2 SPAM Musubi (1 bonus point for longevity, with plenty room for growth!) :-)