Potato chips are the quintessential summer snack. Whether you’re spending the day on the boat, having a picnic in the park or throwing a backyard BBQ, packing the perfect potato chip is a must. And thanks to Mack City Chips, you no longer have to settle for those half-empty, semi-stale bags that have been sitting on grocery store shelves for months.

Brought to you by sisters and co-owners Darcy Esterline and Tina Hogoboom, this new chip shop in Mackinaw City is putting an artisanal spin on your favorite classic. Their specialty potato chips are made fresh daily and dished out at the Food Court in the Mackinaw Crossing Shopping Center.

“There are a lot of sweet treats in Mackinaw City,” Tina says. “We felt a potato chip store would fill a void for a crunchy, salty snack.”

In the port city known for ferrying people to Michigan’s fudge capital, Mackinac Island, this business is taking care of the local salt craving. But it’s their meticulous production process that is really cornering the market. Each chip is handmade and checked for freshness from the minute potatoes come through the back door to the moment chips exit the front.

“We take a lot of care to quality-check our potatoes before and during the production process to ensure the chips are of the utmost quality,” said Tina.

Though she wouldn’t divulge any secret recipes, Tina did admit that Mack City Chips is a labor of love. Potatoes pass initial inspection, are thinly sliced and thrown into the fryer, then every chip is hand-seasoned and sorted before making its way into the package, which are, of course, filled by hand before they make their debut on the shelf.

But it’s not just the crunch of a freshly fried potato chip that will have you coming back for more. In addition to their five core flavors, Mack City Chips likes to surprise guests with something a little interesting each week: their featured flavor. So far this summer, they’ve served samples of dill pickle, blue buffalo, beer can chicken and Chicago steakhouse potato chips.

“We look for unique, different and what we think will appeal to people’s taste buds,” Tina says.

These savory concoctions are then rated by customers, neighboring businesses and the staff to see which seasonings will stick. Mainstays on the menu include regular, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, and hickory BBQ.

So while you’re enjoying your summer shopping in Mackinaw City, make sure to stop by Mack City Chips and add ‘potato chip sampler’ to your résumé!

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Photo(s) by Mack City Chips