When I first moved to St. Louis, there was sort of a hidden gem in the snack world. It was a kind of local secret known as Red Hot Riplets.
Now 10 years later, it’s no longer just a local delicacy. Over the last decade, Old Vienna, the makers of Red Hot Riplets, have expanded their reach, and their flagship chips have become a treat craved by people across the country.
Things really took off when the company began selling products online, and suddenly the Red Hot Riplets seasoning was being shipped as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.
From there there were shirts, flags, and even shower curtains with the logo emblazoned on it, all of which ship around the U.S.
We sat down to talk to Elisha Shaffer, who has been with Old Vienna for 18 years. We chatted about the nearly 100-year company history, the big changes that made their products so popular, and what it’s like to watch a St. Louis staple grow into a sensation.
She also tells a few stories of just how far customers have gone in the past to get their hands on Red Hot Riplets, and teases the return of a product that has been missing for a few years.