Tucked in a valley between snow-adorned Utah peaks, Route 91 meanders through towns of varying insignificance. Richmond is no exception; I barely saw it on the map as I scouted the day’s off-freeway route toward the Great Salt Lake.
The sun sparkled on the pavement as farm flotsam whizzed by the windows. It was an idyllic Saturday morning — radio tuned to NPR and black coffee in-hand. I almost missed the lone metal placard adorning an unassuming, corrugated factory.
“Was that a sign for Pepperidge Farm?” I asked my wife as I prepared for a u-turn. Thoughts of Mint Milanos, soft-baked Nantuckets, and of course those ubiquitous, crunchy orange Goldfish crackers danced in my head as we pulled the car into the lot.
Then we saw the line. The blue-haired contingent was out in force, ready to swipe up the latest deals from the Pepperidge Farm thrift store. Purveyor of cookie, cake, cracker, and bread overruns, the smallish shop sells empty calories by the bushel for pennies on the dollar.
The deal of the day was boxes of pretzel thins — offered at a measly price of 25 cents a box. I took an armful of those, along with a stack of chocolate-covered Milanos, and of course a plethora of Pepperidge Farm’s most famous snack food: the humble and oh-so-tasty cheddar Goldfish crackers. We walked back to the car with a gargantuan plastic sackful of refined carbs for a grand total of twelve bucks. Score.
As with most famous factories, Pepperidge Farms does not permit visitors to tour the production facilities, as they are uninterested in competitors pilfering away company secrets. And I admit to my disappointment; I would have loved a peek behind the curtain. But I drowned my disdain with satchel upon satchel of crumbly, crunchy, salty, satisfying snacks as we rumbled down the road.