BY TOM BUSSELBERG
CLEARFIELD – The Clover Club and Don Julio tortilla chips stocked on store shelves are still Davis County home grown and produced.
Although food giant Tyson Foods purchased the company that was producing them earlier this year, the Freeport Center plant continues its production.
Nate Fisher continues as general manager of Don Julio Foods, the company that bought Clover Club and continued its production about a decade ago.
“Don Julio Foods continues to operate in Clearfield in the same location and with the same management,” said Worth Sparkman, public relations manager for Tyson Foods, Inc.
He said about 40 people work at the plant, which is part of the Mexcian Original subsidiary.
The Davis County operation was acquired in February by Arkansas-based Tyson, which is perhaps best known for its chicken-relasted food products.
“The company is fully integrated into Tyson Foods and the transition was smooth for both companies,” Sparkman said.
He said “some upgrades” and “equipment improvements” have been made, but declined to be more specific.
Fisher comes from a Kaysville family that “had an emotional attachment to Clover Club potato chips,” wrote Davis Clipper staff writer Louise Shaw in 2010.
Nate Fisher said his grandfather was among the first salesmen for Clover Club, and his father, Craig Fisher, oversaw production of the company’s various brands.
“The early 70s was its golden age,” Fisher said of the business started by Hod and Clover Sanders 75 years ago, calling it “the coolest place to work in Utah.”
He began his career with Clover Club in 1974, running their Little Pancho Mexican food division. He also took over regional snack food duties in the 1980s.
Clover Club eventually changed owners, several times, and that “hurt the brand,” Fisher said. Various owners “got it, and let it go.”
That changed in 2006, when the Fisher family bought the Clover Club brand.
“We saw it as a diamond in the rough,” Fisher said, “and it’s gone great Р the first year we had it, we doubled sales and every year since sales have increased by double digits.”
“Don Julio is an example of a brand that’s the right fit for Tyson Foods,” said Tyson Foods, Inc., CEO Donnie Smith. “The people are great, the business expands on an existing tortilla business where we already have expertise and it will allow us to offer our retail customers another product with a loyal customer following.”