Golden Flake factory to close in July after 100 years in Birmingham

Golden Flake
Golden Flake manufacturing facility in North Titusville (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Golden Flake is closing its manufacturing facility in Birmingham after a century since its founding in the Magic City.

Today,  Utz Brands, Golden Flake’s parent company, announced its decision to permanently shut down its manufacturing facility located in the North Titusville neighborhood. The closure is set to take effect on or around July 3, 2023, according to

About 175 employees will be laid off at the factory. Approximately 100 employees will continue to work in Birmingham in distribution and logistics operations.

“It saddens me to hear that Utz Brands is closing the Golden Flake factory in Birmingham. Happily, they are not closing the distribution center,” said  Birmingham City Councilor Crystal Smitherman, who represents the North Titusville community.

Magic City Foods in 1923

Originally called Magic City Foods, Golden Flake was established in the basement of Hill’s Grocery in North Birmingham in 1923.

The factory and the Golden Flake brand has a special connection with the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama. Over the years, touring the factory was a favorite field trip for thousands of schoolchildren.

“Golden Flake has been a good corporate partner over the years and has grown with the community, added Smitherman.”I remember as a child going to Golden Flake with my class to learn about how potato chips were made and then getting free bags of chips. The City has been working to reimagine vacant commercial and school buildings throughout our communities.”

For the state of Alabama, Golden Flake was the sponsor of The Bear Bryant Show. Must see TV in the 1970s, Coach Bryant would begin each show with host Charley Thornton opening up a bag of Golden Flake chips.

What’s Next

Smitherman concluded her comments encouraging Utz Brands to assist the employees find work after Golden Flake.

“I hope that Utz Brands will assist these employees in finding suitable employment in related or other sectors. There are a number of Job Fairs that are planned this year including the one I sponsor at Memorial Park in October. I will post these on my website”

In a statement to Bham Now, Utz stressed their commitment to their Golden Flake associates and the brand.

“We will continue to have a presence in Birmingham and will stay an active part of the community. Notably, the Golden Flake® brand remains an important part of Utz’s portfolio, and our product offerings and partnerships under this banner are not changing.

We are grateful to our Birmingham manufacturing colleagues for their many contributions to Utz. Our leaders have spoken to those associates directly, and we are committed to providing them with support throughout the next few months and through their transition to their future endeavors.”

What is your fondest memory of Golden Flake? Let us know on social media by tagging us at @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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