Equipped with a lava lamp, tie-dye business cards and some eccentric fun vibes, modern-day hippies Linda Nash and Melissa Pupils have taken the chip market for a psychedelic new ride.
While this aunt/niece entrepreneur duo may not wear the ordinary suits of corporate America, they are embracing their quirky flair by offering a fun treat not normally seen on grocery store shelves.
Made by Grand Rapids-based Festida Foods and stocked by several stores statewide, such as SpartanNash and Meijer, Hippie’s Chippies combine sweet and savory in a light crisp that’s free of gluten, MSG, trans fat and cholesterol.
“We joke that it’s practically healthy,” Pupils said. “But it’s the seasoning by far that we worked so hard to master.”
Because the ’60s was a generation for peace and love, Nash and Pupils wanted to instill that positivity with the design of the Hippie’s Chippies’ packaging. “We have to deal with a lot of negativity and darkness in the world, but sometimes little things can brighten your day. If you’re walking past the aisle, we wanted the bag to bring happy memories and a little smile,” Nash said.
After 23 years of coaching women’s basketball at Aquinas College, Nash not only left the court with the most basketball wins for a coach in the school’s history, but also left wanting to empower female voices.
“I grew up in a time where being involved in athletics was not cool,” Nash said. “In coaching at Aquinas, I tried to instill in my female players the importance of advocating on the behalf of other women. Even now, the corporate world is still very male-dominated. I went to a meeting with 50 people from the food industry — all men. As we continue to grow, it’s very important that we make the world a better place by giving back to the community and supporting other women entrepreneurs.”
Though working with family may not be a dream for some, Nash and Pupils have always held a special bond. “Linda was my hero growing up. She was my idol. I always wanted to walk in her footsteps and now I get to work with her every day,” Pupils said. “When you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t even feel like work.”