Kitchen Cooked now merged with Utz Quality Foods

Local News

FARMINGTON, Ill. — A Central Illinois snack company is now joining hands with a national brand.

Kitchen Cooked potato chips will still be made in Farmington, but the merger means big things for employees and those who enjoy a good snack.

“It’s very exciting, it’s great. It’s a benefit for Kitchen Cooked. It really takes us to another level,” said Paul Blackhurst, vice president of Kitchen Cooked.

Kitchen Cooked in Farmington is now under the ownership of Utz Quality Foods. Vice president of kitchen cooked, Paul Blackhurst, says the merger will allow kitchen cooked to push products to more locations.

“Utz has facilities in Chicago and it opens up moving a product from them down to here, and us up into that market area. They are a big outfit through the Indiana area, it’s wide open to opportunities. The possibilities are endless,” said Blackhurst.

Most of Kitchen Cooked employees currently work in Farmington and Bushnell, but the merger could mean everybody under one roof.

“The facility in Bushnell will transition into another facility, whether that happens here, or into another one of Utz manufacturing facilities hasn’t been determined yet and there’s no time table for that,” said Blackhurst.

Blackhurst says the business purchase opens the doors to create more jobs and also give Kitchen Cooked a bigger voice.

“If they expand in this market here or in this plant here, make more items, it’s not wanting to sit as is, we’re here to grow and here to expand and move on. This makes a bigger power in the market,” said Blackhurst.

Both Kitchen Cooked and Utz Quality Foods have been around for about a century.

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