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More Bleeding at Jays

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 5, 2007 2:00PM

2007_10_jays.jpgOn Tuesday a federal judge approved a $24.8 million deal which allows Pennsylvania-based Snyder's of Hanover to buy Jays Potato chips. The deal brings closure to the local potato chip icon's second Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in four years and speculation that a deal with Snyder's would even be allowed because of the bankruptcy filing.

As part of the fallout of the deal, Jays' longtime production facility on the far south side closed yesterday, leaving 220 workers unemployed just as the holiday season kicks into high gear. Talk about "Scrooged." A distribution facility that employs another 420 workers will remain open for "an unspecified period of time."

But there probably won't be a backlash (other than in the comments) like when Target ceased production of Frango mints in Marshall Field's. The Tribune quoted local culinary historian Bruce Kraig as saying that since the Jays brand is so ubiquitous throughout the area, the bankruptcy settlement and plant closing won't carry the same weight. Kraig called Frango mints a "destination experience" for consumers. He's right, of course. Still, we mourn a little for those 220 without a job today.