North Fork Potato Chips awarded $50,000 marketing grant

02/09/2012 3:50 PM |

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO |

North Fork Potato Chips won a federal grant last week and is now planning to expand its marketing reach, company officials said Thursday.

Carol Sidor, who owns the 170-acre Sidor Farm in Mattituck with her husband, Martin, said she’s “very pleased and excited” about winning a $49,990 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and hopes the additional funding will help her family business increase its sales.

“Getting the big contracts is a hard job,” Ms. Sidor said. “I’m sure this will be a big help. We wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise.”

Candice Celestin, spokeswoman for USDA Rural Development, said the Value-Added Producer Grant Program is designed to help companies expand their businesses to a wider audience.

Out of the 298 companies that won nationwide, 21 are based in New York. The state received about $1.9 million from the grant program, she said.

Ms. Sidor said the federal funding will go toward updating North Fork Potato Chips’ website and brochures. The company has also started working with Northport-based marketing firm Slightly Mad Communications to help boost sales.

One of the consultant’s suggestions that Ms. Sidor said she’s looking into is sending samples to hotels located throughout the state in order to secure new contracts.

Now that North Fork Potato Chips has received additional funding for marketing, Ms. Sidor said she believes it will also help her company achieve its long-term goal: purchasing a chip plant.

The chip plant would have an educational component for children to learn about how potato chips are made, as well as the history of the Long Island potato, she said.

“We’ll now be able to market without a worry,” Ms. Sidor said. “In the meantime, it allows us to expand into something that, perhaps, we don’t even know about yet.”

jennifer@timesreview.com