The story of Chifles begins with the story of its founders, Segundo and Peggy Argudo. Their tale originates in Washington, D.C., where Ecuador-born Segundo was enrolled in a geophysics scholarship program. There he met Peggy Moore, a native of North Carolina, who was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The couple fell in love, married and returned to Ecuador together.
Segundo’s career as a geophysicist took them to numerous Latin American countries, where they often enjoyed snacking on fried plantain chips – or chifles (pronounced CHIEF-les), as they are known in Ecuador. During their time in Cuba, Peggy noticed that Havana street vendors did a brisk business in plantain chips; and it occurred to her that the treat might prove equally popular in America.
The Argudos eventually returned to the United States with their children, Stefanie and Ricardo, and settled in Tampa, Florida. It was there that they first started experimenting with making plantain chips in their home kitchen in 1963. After perfecting the recipe, they began selling Chifles throughout the Tampa area in 1965.
As the brand expanded to Miami and New York, the business quickly outgrew the Argudos’ kitchen. Their Plantain Products Company operated out of two different plants before moving to its present 20,000-square-foot Tampa facility in 1972.
Over time, the Argudos introduced other Latin American treats to the Chifles product lineup, including cassava chips, tortilla chips and soup mixes. Today, Chifles products are sold all along the Eastern Seaboard and some points further west.
While Segundo passed away in 2000, the company remains a family-owned business. Peggy continues on as CEO and president, and daughter Stefanie serves as vice president. In fact, Plantain Products Company is officially certified as Women’s Business Enterprise!
Chifles products have earned a reputation for exceptional quality and exquisite flavor, which comes from sourcing the finest ingredients and maintaining control of the entire manufacturing process – from harvesting and peeling to production and packaging. The company’s pursuit of perfection is also evident in its ethical business practices and attentive customer service. Loyal, long-term employees are further testament of a brand dedicated to doing things right.
For more than 50 years, the Plantain Products Company has been producing delicious chips that offer a healthier alternative to salty, fatty and chemically enhanced snack foods. Discover the Chifles difference for yourself – look for our products in your local retail outlets or order online. We promise, you won’t be disappointed!