Many call her the “Chips Lady” because of the prize-winning gourmet chips with the funny names she sells at the Kenosha Public Market. But to others, Anna Moldenhauer is more than a chip maker. To them she is a blessing in disguise.
Moldenhauer, the owner of WisConian Delectables, a company that makes some 40 different flavors of chips with such names as Pumpkin Pie Crust and Spicy Spinach Chip, has launched two fundraising efforts in which she contributes some of her proceeds to help two nonprofit organizations.
On the back of each bag of chips, her fundraising mission is clear: “The future of chips? A portion of our flour chips’ sales will benefit the Walkin’ in My shoes (501)©(3) Building Fund to build a brighter future for our youth training program.
“Plus ... a portion of our Red, White & Blue corn chips’ sales will benefit the American Legion Paul Herrick Post 21!”
Moldenhauer’s mission, she is quick to note, is to make consistently good chips and build recognition for her brand and the organizations she supports. Their mission becomes her mission, too. And she wants others to appreciate the work those organizations do in the community.
As a business owner, Moldenhauer wants to expand her distribution network. While she sells at the outdoor and indoor Kenosha Public Markets, she’d like to offer her creative chips in other locations. They can be found at the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha and at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago. Fans also can order the chips at Kenosha Public Market’s online store, KPM2GO.
As a former social worker whose father served in the military, Moldenhauer feels compelled to help fund the rehabilitation of the American Legion Post 21 building at 504 58th St. in Downtown Kenosha. It needs some interior repairs and a new elevator to help elderly veterans get to the upper-level meeting and event rooms.
Moldenhauer’s efforts supplement the American Legion’s own fundraising efforts.
Earlier this month, Moldenhauer began selling a red, white and blue corn chip to raise funds for the American Legion. Operating out of a booth on Saturdays in the spacious indoor Kenosha Public Market, she donates a percentage of each bag of those customized chips to the American Legion. She also collects contributions from shoppers who want to donate for the cause.
On Oct. 31, market visitors snapped up her military-themed chips. She generated more than $700 in sales. She is selling those chips for the remainder of this month. So far, she has sold 48 bags, and Moldenhauer is giving the American Legion $4 for every bag of chips sold.
Helping the homeless
Years of helping those in need has Moldenhauer’s heart set on assisting Walkin’ in My Shoes, a nonprofit organization that helps the homeless and provides living essentials to the needy and training to help youth develop sustainable job skills.
Walkin’ in My Shoes, 2011 50th St., has outgrown its space and needs a new building to administer 10 different programs. Founder and chief executive officer Jo Wynn, who was once homeless, established the organization 15 years ago.
Wynn is scheduled to join Moldenhauer from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the WisConian Delectables booth to tell of her cause. There will be a donation box and several other boxes will be placed with local businesses.
Said Wynn: “We’re trying to raise $75,000, which is the down payment to move into the building with lease-to-own options. We have only raised $2,100.”
She said because of COVID-19, the target date is now next spring or early summer 2021.
Wynn said the owner has asked her to not disclose the Kenosha location at this time.
Moldenhauer’s journey as a chips entrepreneur began in 2012 when she eventually took over a business. She grew the business by adding more flavors and using her own creative baking style. She started with a booth in the Kenosha HarborMarket.
She said she once produced 300 to 400 bags of her chips that were sold at Mars Cheese Castle, but production has been scaled back somewhat, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. Moldenhauer estimates she may have lost about 84% of her sales this year.
“We’re currently making small batches of about 100 bags a week at the Union Park Tavern in Kenosha,” she said.
Her Some Like It Hot and Apple Pie Crust chips won third-place awards in two separate categories at the 2020 International FLAVE competition. In 2019, she won an award for her Chipotle Lime chips. Two years earlier, she won an award at the Wisconsin State Fair for her First-Class Garlic Chips. Moldenhauer dreams of the day when she can have her own commercial kitchen.
IN PHOTOS: Knights of Columbus councils help those in need
Two local Knights of Columbus councils have been busy lately giving back to the community.
The Knights of Columbus Council 973 Coats for Kids program donated $1,000 worth of Burlington Coat Factory gift cards to help elementary school children get ready for winter. St. Joseph Catholic Academy and All Saints Catholic Elementary School each received $500 for the program.
Meanwhile, Knights of Columbus Divine Mercy-St. Anne Council 16022 delivered 75 coats to Jefferson, Frank and Wilson elementary schools. The Knights held a BBQ chicken take-out dinner, and used a matching fund from an parish member to raise about $2,000 to help to purchase the coats. Target, Meijers, Ross for Less and Burlington donated gift cards and extra percentage off to help purchase the coats. The Ladies Auxiliary also donated more than 60 hand-knitted scarves.
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