Sometimes in life you just have to be in the right place at the right time and opportunities present themselves. For Michele Revivo of Spudniks Snack Foods, that is exactly what happened.
Michele Revivo was born in Toronto, Canada and after graduating from university, she started a small business making bracelets at bar and bat mitzvah parties. But at the parties she noticed that the booths with the biggest lineups were usually the ones that involved “food activities” i.e. cotton candy machines, popcorn stands or ice cream sundae booths. Michele wondered if she could somehow make a food activity out of her favourite snack food — potato chips. In a chance conversation with an event coordinator, Michele mentioned the idea and the event coordinator quickly saw the potential. “If you can make it happen,” she said, “I can definitely get you bookings.” And so, Spudniks Snack Foods was born.
Spudniks arrives at events bearing its uniquely branded “chip theatres” — mobile carts or countertop units, where Spudniks chips or kettle popcorn are tossed and seasoned fresh in front of customers with customized flavour blends that consumers can choose themselves and have served warm. “The term ‘chip theatres’ came about because we felt that we were entertaining our customers and creating a ‘theatrical’ experience for them while we seasoned their chips, hot and fresh before their eyes,” relates Revivo.
Spudniks chips and kettle corn are peanut free, have no MSG or additives, is VegeCert certified (both vegetarian and vegan products) and is COR kosher certified. “Now that our products are under COR, there’s a lot more potential for us,” says Revivo. “Being COR opens doors. There’s a lot more we can do.”
The lack of additives is another important attribute for Spudniks. “Many of the other potato chips that you can buy in grocery stores are full of preservatives. But Spudniks chips have no preservatives, are hand seasoned, and every chip is cared for” explains Revivo.
Spudniks also has a “Bulk” Potato Chip division where restaurants/Pubs or any foodservice location can purchase a “10lb” fresh seasoned case– either traditional flat or kettle potato chips. A finished product in bulk allows restaurants to serve Spudniks as a “side” option to any meal (ie. sandwiches, paninis, burgers). “And now that we are COR we can offer this service to kosher restaurants as well,” Revivo adds.
Spudniks has a host of other products in the pipeline such as “Bulk” fresh seasoned Kettle popcorn, available in 15 flavours, “SpudBits” which are bits of Spudniks chips that can be used as toppings or a garnish on hotdogs and hamburgers, great as a batter for Fish & Chips (Salt & Malt is very popular), or Chicken Fingers ( Kool Ketchup Tenders). Spudniks have even developed “Spoutine” a potato chip variation on the popular French Canadian “poutine” which consists of kettle chips topped with cheese and gravy.
As Michele Revivo looks back on how far she’s come since her days of making bracelets at bar and bat mitzvah parties she is both astounded, and grateful. “I would never have imagined that this is where I would be. It is amazing. One thing leads to another in life. I believe that everything is meant to be in life. Opportunities present themselves through current ones — you just need to recognize them.”
Fans are Spudniks are glad she did.