With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inside The Pan De Oro Factory

Visiting the Pan De Oro chip factory on Main Street was something that had been on the Sad City agenda for quite a while but for whatever reason took a a while to get around to. When we finally visited last week, it was a what took so long moment. We made our way to the factory thinking we'd grab a bag of tortillas, chomp some down and write about the chips.

The factory is located in an industrial area of North Main Street. We weren't even sure if we were walking in the right door. When we first saw Rick Stevens he asked if he could help us. "We are looking for some chips."

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that not only were we in the right place, but when buying chips out of the factory they cost only $1 a bag. Can't beat that deal. Rick then asked how we found out about Pan De Oro. When we replied Twitter, he asked "great, did I follow you back, i always try to do that?"

 "Ummm, not sure, the account is Sad City Hartford."

"Oh ok! Would you like a tour of the factory?"

A tour of the factory? Yes, I think we would enjoy that very much.

Hair net on and inside the production area we witnessed how a tortilla chip gets made. It's pretty amazing to see the level of of thought and detail that goes into a production line making chips on this scale. There are machines, conveyers,  tumblers, and other equipment everywhere. We were walked through the process of becoming a chip all the way to getting into the bag. This includes a machine that measures the chips to the ounce and then seals the same amount in each bag.

It's an impressive operation right in Hartford. There had to be about 20 are 72 employees at Pan De Oro working when we visited.  We had no idea there was this sort of operation going on right in town, and it's probably a safe bet that we aren't the only ones.

After we finished our tour of the factory is was time to go home and find out what was really important, how do they taste? We had no complaints on our first taste of the Pan De Oro tortillas. Just the right thickness, crispiness, and saltiness.

For the next test we then decided to make some guacamole and see if the chips would break when loaded up. Once again the Pan De Oro chips passed the test, and be assured, we were really loading the guac on.

You can't go wrong with these chips, at the very least as good as other chips you will find in stores and at $1 a bag at the factory, they are a  great deal and buying them supports a local Hartford business. Check out the Pan De Oro factory on 3478 Main Street. It's worth the trip. Sad City recommends.


  1. I believe that Gold Bond Mattress is still in Hartford, although I don't know if they still make anything there.... Same general area as the Chip Factory.


  2. I bought some of these chips at a farmer's market today, so delicious AND gluten free!