Posted by: greatfallsgirl | October 18, 2009

Big Stack Potato Chips

stack2Remember the big bag of chips that had the coolest picture of the Anaconda Stack pictured on the bag?  I went to their processing plant with my class when I was a student at Largent Elementary downtown (being bussed from the Riverview area).  I thought it was on the River Road across the river from the stack itself, but I may be remembering wrong (it was a long time ago…late 1960’s…LOL).  I have looked for any reference to Big Stack Potato Chips for a while,and other than mention of them on message boards, I did find an MSU report that talks about the company.  It looks like it is from a 1959 MSU report titled “Industrial Horizons.”  Here is the citation on Big Stack:


In Great I'alls, con.struclion is par-
tialis completed for the new 40x121-
fool' $26,000 building of Bif- Stack
Chip and Food Company at 721 Sixth
St.. S.W. 

Tim r. Calaway, owner and man-
ager, reports that expanded sales,
causing an increase in personnel and
production, make it necessary to ex-
pand his plant. Big Stack began man-
ufacturing potato chips two and one-
half years ago in a small garage. The
firm soon outgrew this building and
moved into a nearby warehouse, which
now is too small, according to Cala-
way. The firm normally employs 20
people, and plant capacity is 6,000
pounds of potatoes per shift. The
firm used 6,270 cwt. of Montana po-
tatoes in 1958, and 2.970 cwt. of Cali-
fornia potatoes. Sales were substan-
tially over $100,000. 

"Wc service all of central Mon-
tana," Calaway reports, "from Havre
and the Hi-Line to I.ewistown, Kali-
spell, Livingston, Helena, Butte, Ana-
conda, and Deer Lodge, as well as
Great Falls. Before our plant opened,
these areas were served by chips made
in Spokane and Portland, among other
places, .So nc are proud to have
brought a hobby from my wife's kitch-
en stove to one of Montana's newest
and most progressive industries."


  1. Hi Great Falls Girl! My dad started Big Stack Potato Chips and all of the family worked there while we were in school. I may have toured your class if it was in the summer. So cool. I was just back in GF for my HS reunion and took lots of photos where the Big Stack used to be. Ahh the memories!
    Joanne Calaway Young

    • Joanne, I worked with your brother Steve at your dad’s chip place. We emptied water sloosh from the potato slicing operation. We also took pre cut french fries to Boyds Burger Master. Do you have a picture of the chips BAG? Philip Nord

  2. Oh yes…I’d sure like to see a picture of the chip bag!

    • BTW Big Stack company was located on SW Sixth St about halfway between where the road starts on a bridge going over the Sun River and 1st ave on the west side.

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