Portion of sales to benefit military personnel through USO-Metro
WASHINGTON, D.C. — West Virginia snack manufacturer Mister Bee Potato Chips will be featured at Giant Food stores throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. in early July, offering specially marked chip bags that salute military personnel and designate a portion of every sale to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro).
“We met Mary Anne Ketelsen, CEO of Mister Bee, through our mutual philanthropic partner, USO-Metro,” said Felis Andrade, Director of External Communications and Community Relations at Giant Food. “It is a pleasure to introduce her delicious product and help our service members and their families at the same time.”
Andrade said Mister Bee chips will be available July 2nd leading into the July Fourth weekend and be at Giant stores through Labor Day in September.
Mister Bee Potato Chips and the Ketelsen family donated $100,000 to the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore in 2020. In 2019, Ketelsen designed the 5-ounce chip bag to honor Veterans and military personnel serving their country.
Ketelsen said her father, husband and several nephews were in the service and some are currently in the military. “Our service members put their lives on the line for our country,” she said. “USO-Metro brings military families together. From the minute a service member enlists, the USO is always by their side. Donating to the USO makes me feel like I am not just helping one, but many.”
Lisa Marie Riggins, President and CEO of USO-Metro, said both Giant Food and Mister Bee are leading partners of USO-Metro’s work on behalf of our troops and their families. “Partners like Mister Bee and Giant Food are the conduit for people learning about the USO and the military experience. By these partners continuing their commitment to be a megaphone, they are ensuring their customers are not forgetting about the military community.”
Mister Bee produces original, BBQ, sour cream and onion, honey BBQ, jalapeno, salt & vinegar, and dip style potato chips that are offered online or at retailers throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Its growing manufacturing plant in Parkersburg, W.Va. now employs 47 people.
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About Giant Food
This year, Giant Food is celebrating 85 years as a community grocery store. Since opening its first location on Georgia Ave. in Washington, DC in 1936, Giant has been an integral part of our customers’ lives and the communities it serves. Giant is committed to being a Better Neighbor and has designated four main giving pillars that address local Food Insecurity, Military Support, Pediatric Cancer Research, and Social Equality. Giant is headquartered in Landover, Md. and operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 164 stores are 152 full-service pharmacies, 82 full-service PNC Banks and 24 Starbucks locations. Giant fits all the ways today’s busy customers want to shop – whether in store or online. With 147 Giant Pickup locations and Giant Delivery available to all our market areas in DC, MD, VA and DE, customers have even more convenient options right at their fingertips to get the best product and prices, whenever and however they want it. For more information on Giant, visit: www.giantfood.com.
About Mister Bee Potato Chips
Mister Bee Potato Chip Company was founded in 1951 by Leo and Sara Klein and had its first offices on Mary Street in Parkersburg, West Virginia. At that time, the chips would be made in the morning and then Mr. Klein would distribute the fresh product in the afternoon. In November 1962, the company was moved to West Virginia Avenue, where the chips are still made today. Leo Klein operated the business until 1979, when he passed away at the age of 73. The company remained with the Klein family until incurring financial difficulties in 2010. Mister Bee now operates as West Virginia Potato Chip Company and was purchased in 2015 by new owners Mary Anne (Welch) Ketelsen, Douglas Ketelsen, James Richard Barton, Gregory Barton and Gregory Reed, along with Mary Maxine Welch participating in financing. Website: https://misterbee.com/
About USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro)’s Centers serve as a home-away-from-home for troops and their families. Throughout the year, hundreds of events take place at USO-Metro facilities and aid in boosting morale, building a sense of community and helping to ease the burdens of a transient military lifestyle. Staffed by trained volunteers, USO-Metro supports the specific needs of single service members, couples, spouses, families, children, teens, wounded, ill and injured service members and their caregivers. Website: https://metro.uso.org/