Information and picture furnished by the Monroe Times, Green County Historical Society and Daryl Fernstaedt. Fritos Wisconsin, Inc originally organized in July 1946, under franchise by a group of local Monroe investors in about 4500 sq ft in the upper portion of the south side of the Fitzgibbons building on 18th av; (above the Buggyworks restaurant)
The industry originated in about 1932, when owner CE Doolin first tasted the corn chip at a restaurant in San Antonio. It was called Fritos meaning “fried thing” in Spanish. He paid $100 for the recipe, and the first production of his chip was in the Doolin kitchen with a potato ricer as the main equipment.
In 1950, the parent company bought 51 percent (controlling interest) of Fritos Wisconsin and the plant was moved to the west end of 19th st; 809 19th st. That 50 X 120’ building was erected for Fritos Wisconsin by DA Crandall on the site acquired from the Badger Petroleum Corp., and opened Sept 14, 1951. In 1957, Fritos Inc. acquired full ownership of Fritos Wisconsin, Inc.
In March of 1961 a fire in a cooking vat put the plant out of production for only 4 days. A foam extinguisher was used for the first time by Monroe fireman to successfully smother the flames.
Another fire on February 23, 2003, closed the plant.