HUFFINGTON POST
03/11/2013 06:40 pm ET

Gibble Foods Closed, Killing Beloved Gibble's Chips, Cheese Puffys

NEW YORK -- As the bad news continued to spread Monday about the end of Gibble Foods, maker of beloved chips and cheese puffs, eBay did what it does best: Allow fans one final chance to gobble up goodies -- at a markup, of course. Bags of Gibble's chips and cheese puffs were being offered on the Internet auction site for around $17 per bag.

The company's new CEO and owner, Eldon Dieffenbach, said in a statement Thursday thatGibble would end manufacturing of its snacks effective immediately, including fan favorites like Kay & Ray's Potato Chips and Gibble's Cheese Puffys. Gibble used the slogan, "Nibble with Gibble's" on its snack bags. The company's 30 workers were abruptly fired.

Dieffenbach said the Chambersburg, Pa.-based company would focus on making private-label snack foods, according to The Herald Mail, a newspaper in nearby Hagerstown, Md.

Gibble's fans flocked to supermarkets on Friday, emptying the shelves, Pennsylvania news outlets reported.

Gibble's had taken on iconic status in recent years as food magazines and speciality shops hailed the snacks as authentic. Kay & Ray's chip are "cooked in pig fat so it made for a really nice flavor," said Sean Gardner, manager of Court Street Grocers in Brooklyn, which sold Gibble's chips and cheese puffs. "We have customers who come and freak out" when they are not available, he said.

Dieffenbach bought the Gibble snack food division from Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in December. The announcement to close Gibble appeared to come without warning.

"We didn't know. We were blindsided," Scott Heintzelman, vice president of finance and administration at Martin's, told the Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper. "Our intention was to keep the jobs local, keep the brands available. We were utterly surprised."

Martin's had owned Gibble since 1994, when the bakery purchased it from the Gibble family, which founded it in 1959. A call from The Huffington Post to Martin's was not returned.

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