The Dramatic Backstory Behind Golden Flake Potato Chips

Potato chips have a long and diverse history, as do the companies that produce them. You've likely heard of prominent brands like Lay's, Ruffles, Pringles, and even Kettle Brand.

A potato chip brand you may not be as familiar with, founded in 1923, is Golden Flake. Marketed as being the ultra-thin and crispy version of the delicious snack, Golden Flake was established in Birmingham, Alabama, by Frank Mosher and Mose Lischkoff in a grocery store basement, according to Alabama Local News. Initially named Magic City Food Products, the company rebranded to Golden Flake in the 1940s.

According to Bon App├ętit, Mosher's wife, Helen Friedman, became the spokesmodel for Golden Flake, affectionately known as "The Golden Flake Girl." When Friedman and Mosher's marriage ended on a sour note, Friedman acquired it in the divorce settlement, and it was later sold to Sloan Bashinsky.

The drama surrounding Golden Flake didn't just stop at Friedman and Mosher's divorce, but rather continued into the Bashinsky family years later.

Golden Flake controversy

Fast forward 70 years in Birmingham, to when witnesses found a body floating in a golf course pond that was later identified to be 63-year-old Major Bashinsky, according to ABC News. Bashinsky, a lawyer and heir to the Golden Flake company and assets, had been reported missing earlier that month. Upon inspection of the body, a Golden Flake potato chip label was found in Bashinsky's mouth, arousing suspicion that it may have been business-related foul play.

About a week later, based on additional evidence, coroners determined that Bashinsky was not murdered, but died by suicide, though he staged it to appear as though he had in fact been murdered, according to ABC News. Police struggled to determine what Bashinksy's motive could have possibly been.

Thankfully, these unfortunate events did not bring about the demise of Golden Flake potato chips. According to Yellow Hammer, Utz Quality Foods purchased the company in 2016 and still sells the chips under the original brand name to this day.