Waterloo company gets $713K for veggie chip production

Martin's Family Fruit Farm plans to add vegetable chips made from locally-grown produce to its offerings. The Waterloo company received a $713,000 federal grant to start the project, which could create up to 10 local jobs.

Martin Family Fruit Farm is looking to expand its business and add up to 10 local jobs

Martin’s Family Fruit Farm says it plans to expand its retinue of healthy snacking options with the production of a new vegetable chip, made with locally grown produce. 

The Waterloo-based business has received a $713,000 grant from the federal government’s Agriculture and Agri-Food department to jumpstart production.

 “We certainly have noticed an increasing demand for healthy snacking,” said Peter Katona, Martin’s sales and marketing manager. “There’s tremendous potential in that marketplace.”

The company already produces apple chips, but Katona said Martin’s will need time to experiment with new machinery, recipes and dehydration techniques before its vegetable chips are ready for store shelves.

Sweet potato, carrot and tomato chips are three varieties Martin’s says it would like to produce.

“We’ll source them from local farms as much as possible,” said Katona. “It’ll all be Ontario product.”

Martin’s says its new vegetable chip production could add around 10 jobs and lead to a potential expansion of its Elmira plant.

Martin’s products are available in major retailers across Ontario, and the company says it is exploring expanding into American, Indian and the Middle Eastern markets.

Full production is expected to begin in the next six to 12 months.