Why potato chips are an integral part of my nutrition plan

Did anyone know there used to be a potato chip factory at the base of Mt Coot-tha?

I didn't either until I read this sign while passing by on the weekend.

The main brand made by Freer's was Red Seal chips.

I found quite a decent history of Freer's founder Gerard James Freer written on a random blog, and there's a Facebook fan page for Freer's Red Seal chips.

But there seems to be very little else to be found, about what was probably a beloved part of Brisbane's history.

(How could it not be beloved. It's chips.)

I thought about chips for a good chunk of my run after this. I think I'll put them on my nutrition plan for GNW100.


  1. Like Tristams Soft Drinks, these were a big icon and great product when I was growing up.

    Like all things in this country, history is wiped out by big overseas conglomerates like Coke and Lays.

  2. My first holiday job at age 13 was working in the Freer's chip factory, as I lived close by and they required extra staff in the lead-up to Christmas. Most of my days were spent with my arm armpit-deep in the hopper at the end of ovens where the fresh hot crisps came down the chute after cooking. My job was to ensure the even flow of chips through the hopper spout on to the conveyor towards the packing machinery, while picking out any which had been sliced too thinly and become burnt, or sliced too thickly and become, basically, hot roast spuds. These discarded chips went into large metal rubbish bins which were periodically hefted by one of the male staff and taken to the fields outside to be emptied into conveniently placed bathtubs. The herd of sleek jersey cows would come running crazily to gorge on the unexpected feast. My main memory is being paid 45c/hour, which when I turned 14 during my period of working in the factory was raised to a lordly 50c/hour. Such riches! But we are talking 1971 .....