Goodbye, Mr. Chips: A look at the former Jays potato chip factory at 99th and Cottage Grove

June 11, 2010


(photo by Lee Bey)

The former Jays potato chip factory at 99th and Cottage Grove is for sale.

The plant once perfumed the South Side neighborhood with the oily/salty smell of cooking potatoes. The factory closed two-and-a-half years ago when Jays newest owner, Synder's of Hanover moved the potato chip-making apparatus elsewhere.


(photo by Lee Bey)

The scent defined the area. Like the thick smell from the Blommer Chocolate factory in the River West area-- or the sweet, doughy fragrance the Schultz Schulze Bakery used to lay down near Garfield Blvd and State. The city was dotted with the smells of bakeries, candy factories and the like. Much of that is gone now. We can preserve a building. If only we could preserve some of those smells, too.