Bernard, founder of Cape Cod Potato Chips, dies

by Eric Schroeder
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BARNSTABLE, MASS. — Stephen Bernard, founder of Cape Cod Potato Chips and two other snack food brands, died March 7. He was 61 years old.

Mr. Bernard and his wife, Lynn, founded Cape Cod Potato Chips in 1980 as an offshoot of their health food store. They later sold the business to the Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. in 1985. Mr. Bernard reacquired the Cape Cod business in 1996 when Anheuser-Busch sold its Eagle Snacks division. Three years later once again sold Cape Cod, this time to Lance Inc.

In addition to Cape Cod, Mr. Bernard started Chatham Village Foods, a producer of croutons, bread crisps and stuffings, in 1990. He later sold the company to Lancaster Colony Corp. in 1997.

In 2001, Mr. Bernard came out of retirement to co-found Late July Organic Snacks with his daughter, Nicole. The company opened its doors in 2003 as an organic supplier of cookies and crackers.

Jim McCarthy, president of the Arlington, Va.-based Snack Food Association, credited Mr. Bernard with helping bring back the traditional kettle-style chip, which he described as a crispier and thicker cut potato chip dating back to the product’s origins 150 years ago.

"Steve was fundamental in bringing that kind of chip back into popularity," Mr. McCarthy told the Associated Press.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Bernard is survived by three brothers and a sister, and two grandsons.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Jimmy Fund (

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