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When you think of farm-to-table food, potato chips might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But one small batch, local producer is making them a reality.
We first fell in love with Friends Potato Chips at Parker Street Market, but they’ve been popping up in other shops around the city. You can also pick up a bag at Goodwell’s, Avalon, Detroit Farm & Garden, Rasta Hakeem African Imports, Robinson Mobil Inc., and Nandi’s Knowledge Cafe.
The chips come in two flavors: lemon pepper and barbecue. We’re huge fans of the lemon pepper, but both are pretty awesome.
The thick cut potatoes are deliciously salty and wonderfully crunchy. They give just the right amount of resistance when you bite into them. You can actually see the flecks of lemon seasoning and cracked black pepper, sprinkled over each chip like a magic fairy dusting of flavor. Every once in a while you come across one chip that’s a little darker than the rest. It’s like finding gold at the end of a rainbow.
Each bag of Friends’ chips are fried by hand, in small batches, right here in the city. Even the main ingredient – the potatoes themselves – are partially sourced from Detroit urban farms.
Michael Wimberly and a small team of locals produce each batch of Friends potato chips. Michael runs an organization called Friends of Detroit, with a mission to provide jobs and affordable housing for everyone through education, training and community support. They’re located in the Hope District, which stretches from Van Dyke and Forest to Cadillac on Detroit’s east side – near Indian Village. Proceeds from the sale of Friends potato chips help support the organization’s mission.