Gibble Foods, the maker of Gibble's brand potato chips and snack foods, will cease production today and no longer sell the popular snack food brands to concentrate on contract manufacturing, according to an email from the company's owner, Eldon Dieffenbach.
Gibble Foods is discontinuing the manufacturing of Gibble's snack products effective March 9th, 2013," Dieffenbach wrote in the email yesterday afternoon. "This will allow the company to focus on private label manufacturing of its snack food products. The company will not be delivering any more Gibble's products after March 9th, 2013, but will provide a selected weekend pack out service for March 9th-10th."
Gibble Foods, near Greencastle, Franklin County, employed about 40 people making the snack foods.
Dieffenbach, a Berks County businessman, owns several other companies in Lebanon County. He acquired the Gibble's brand and factory in November from Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc., the Chambersburg-based maker of Martin's brand potato rolls. The company has no relation to Martin's brand potato chips.
Although Dieffenbach is part of the family that owns Dieffenbach's Potato Chips Inc. near Womelsdorf, Berks County, he transitioned out of the family business in 2006, and Dieffenbach's Potato Chips is not connected with Gibble's.
The end of the Gibble's brand came as a shock to Martin's executives, who had sold the brand under the assumption it would continue, said Scott Heintzelman, Martin's vice president of finance and administration.
"We're frustrated, but he owns the business and that's just the way it is," he said. "We didn't know this was going to happen; otherwise we wouldn't have sold it."
That's not the way the Martin family does business, Heintzelman said.
Future employment at the company is unknown. Officials at the Chambersburg CareerLink, the state's jobs office, were not immediately available to comment. Dieffenbach did not respond to phone and email messages left for him this morning.
Dieffenbach told the Business Journal in December he agreed with the Martins to keep the Gibble's brand alive and wanted to upgrade the factory.