Factory-to-Table: Your Guide to York County’s Authentic Factory Outlets

by Matthew Vlahos

Like to know where your food comes from? Here’s a local “twist” on that trend that’s uniquely York County.

Long known as the Snack Food Capital of the World, the region feeds the country everything from animal crackers and chocolates to potato chips and, yes, pretzels. Lots and lots of pretzels. And even though our most-famous treat, the York Peppermint Pattie, has since moved away, you can still shop directly at the source of the nation’s love handles.


There are more than a dozen authentic factory outlets in the area, offering something for every taste. You may have to go off the beaten path a bit, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.

Note that in most cases, these pretense-free outlets are located at the actual working factories and warehouses of the brands, so time your visits to avoid afternoon shift changes. Evening, weekend and holiday hours are usually limited or not offered at all, so it’s best to call ahead—especially since inventory can vary depending on manufacturing schedules. But planned just right, you’ll arrive when your favorite flavors or products are being rolled in!

Hanover Foods Retail Outlet

Hanover Foods

No matter how you like to eat your peas and carrots, chances are they’re made by Hanover Foods. A staple on pantry shelves and in the freezer aisle for nearly a century, Hanover Foods processes millions of cans and frozen bags-worth of fruits and vegetables each year. In addition to its own namesake brand, the company also manufactures under several different names—Bickel’s Snacks, Wege and Spring Glen Fresh Foods, for example—and private labels (aka, store brands). You’ll find a dizzying assortment of those foods stocked daily at the in-house outlet. 1125 Wilson Ave., Hanover, (717) 632-6000 

Entenmann’s York Outlet 

The beauty of being an adult is that you can have dessert for breakfast. But for those adults with children watching, or even for adults with a healthy guilt complex, I propose this solution: hide the dessert underneath something seemingly wholesome, like a quart or two of fresh strawberries. Voila … “Pounds of Strawberries,” a recipe from the fine folks at Entenmann’s featuring their signature All Butter Loaf Cake (and yes, heavy whipped cream).

Picking season for fresh local strawberries may be past, but you can still pick up that cake—Entenmann’s has an outlet tucked behind the West Manchester Town Center. If you’re a true Entenmann’s aficionado, I challenge you to test your trivia knowledge on their website when you’re looking up store hours and directions. Sample question: how many of those buttery cakes has Entenmann’s made since 1898? I don’t know the correct answer (and no cheating for those of you playing along at home!), but all of the multi-choice options seemed downright impressive, whether the answer turns out to be 16 million or 700 million. That’s a lot of breakfasts! 1851 Loucks Rd., York (located at the local Bimbo Bakeries USA depot)

Martin’s Potato Chips

Martins potato chips

I’ve been to Martin’s for their tour far too many times to count. It’s always a fun time—especially when the tour guide dramatically swoops over to the line by the giant “kettles,” thrusts a basket under a conveyor belt and catches warm potato chips for you to sample right then and there. You may think you’ve had a good potato chip, but you haven’t, not until you’ve had a slightly crispy, crinkly one right out of the fryer at Martin’s. You’ll end up in the tiny outlet that resembles a hallway—a fabulous hallway with every available inch filled with chips and popcorn and pretzels and a giant framed and signed photo of Air Force One—because, you know, Martin’s has been the sky-high chip of choice for several presidents. No word on whether they’re served warm on the plane, though. 5847 Lincoln Hwy. West, Thomasville, (717) 792-3565 

Winter Gardens

Bean salad anyone? Or maybe Amish macaroni salad, cheddar salad, Dutch potato salad or ham salad? Winter Gardens has a salad for every occasion. Heck, there’s even a dessert salad—the Watergate, tantalizingly described as a “light and colorful mixture of whipped pistachio pudding, pineapples, and tiny marshmallows.” The company kitchen has been turning out these very Pennsylvania comfort foods since the 1970s, relying on the abundant produce grown around the area to make more than 250 soups, salads, dinners and desserts. The red beet eggs are still my favorite, which is why the outlet, just slightly over the line in neighboring Adams County, gets a nod. 304 Commerce St., New Oxford, (717) 624-4911 

Perrydell Farm Store


Perrydell Farm is a working and fully self-sufficient dairy farm spread across more than 300 acres in southern York County. Family-owned and -operated, Perrydell’s claim to fame is the freshness of its milk. (Any fresher and you would have to have your own cow, they like to say.) They also avoid hormones like r.BST, grow most of their own feed and do all of the milking and bottling right on the farm. I can swear by the results their farming practices, having eaten my way through the farm store on several occasions! Their chocolate milk, homemade ice cream and delicious baked goods are well worth the drive—even if milk is no longer 75 cents a gallon. (Tip: the calf nursery is adjacent to the store, where you can pet and play with them during daylight hours. Arrive just before 4 p.m. to watch them being fed.) 90 Indian Rock Dam Rd., York, (717) 741-3485 

Revonah Pretzel

Revonah Pretzel

It doesn’t get more Hanover than this … Revonah is Hanover spelled backwards, after all. This tiny bakery packs a big punch with its HARD, hand-twisted sourdough pretzels. In my opinion, the best ones are the broken pieces you can buy by the pound. You may have to circle the block a few times before you find the correct turn off Baltimore Street into a narrow alley (and the building is fairly nondescript, although rather large for the neighborhood). Parking is by chance and is a local art form. Before Hanover High home games, our family used to stop by for thick, oversized soft pretzels—they have a distinct, almost sweet flavor—and freshly roasted peanuts during our walk over to Sheppard-Myers Field. 507 Baltimore St., Hanover, (717) 630-2883 

Snyder’s of Hanover Factory Store

The outlet is great, but it’s the free factory tour that’s the icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned. Watching hundreds of intricate, mechanical arms twist and turn dough into perfect pretzels is beautiful culinary choreography. It’s also a testament to good ‘ole Pennsylvania Dutch ingenuity; some of the machines are decades old and still lovingly maintained—you can almost hear yourself say, in your grandpa’s voice, “They just don’t build ‘em like this anymore.” This tour of contrasts also finds high-tech robotics at work in the warehouse. 1350 York St., Hanover, (800) 233-7125 

Stauffer’s Cookie Outlet


Here’s some useless knowledge: animal crackers are called that because they are, in fact, “crackers,” or biscuits. Based on a traditional British recipe, they are made from a layered dough just like crackers—although the dough is sweeter, like cookies, hence the confusion. York-based Stauffer’s started making them around 1900, one of several bakeries offering a uniquely American take on the novelty snack. Today, they’re one of the two most prominent, along with Nabisco. (You can tell the crackers apart because Stauffer’s uses spices like nutmeg and mace to give theirs a slightly different, distinctive flavor.) A modern-day box of Stauffer’s animal crackers includes a mixed menagerie of 13 animals—bison, bears, camels, hippos and tigers among them. Track all the animals and flavors down at Stauffer’s outlet. 375 S. Belmont St., York, (717) 848-6630 

Utz Outlet Store


If you’re in the market for a regulation-size (ish) football helmet cleverly modified to hold chips, dip and maybe even a beer or two depending on how you stack things, then you need to stop by the Utz Outlet Store. Immediately. (They have more of some teams than others, ahem.) The outlet occupies prime real estate in one of the original mid-century factory buildings—just look for the giant retro sign with neon letters flashing U-T-Z. The outlet also has collectible, decorative tins that you can fill up with whatever calories you or your loved ones craves. Those make perfect gifts! 861 Carlisle St., Hanover, (717) 637-1759 ext. 123. (And if you dial 0 for the switchboard, say “hi” to my Aunt Jen!) 

Wolfgang Candy Co.’s Das Sweeten Haus

If York had its own Willy Wonka, his name would’ve been Wolfgang. This candy company became a household name decades ago when it pretty much pioneered elementary school fundraising campaigns—they were everywhere! On a hilltop overlooking downtown York is the sweet, sweet place where all that chocolate-covered supplemental education funding was made. The factory outlet store is in a faux-Tudor-style complex that’s equal parts kitsch and charming. Perhaps more accurately called the “Chocolate & Candy Shoppe,” it doubles as a mini museum, with a working throwback soda fountain and a glass wall where you can watch workers hand-roll chocolates. If you opt for the full tour, you’re in for one of the best. It was rated one of the nation’s “Top Five Tasty Tours” by Food Network viewers. 50 E. 4th Ave., York (717) 843-5536 

Pro Tip


Several outlets have outposts at area farmers’ markets—where you’ll also find locally made wines, craft beer and cider to pair with those salty, savory or sweet snacks:

  • Central Market: Beer, hard cider and wine are available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) from vendors Allegro WineryMudhook Brewing Co. and Wyndridge Farm34 W. Philadelphia St., York, (717) 848-2243 
  • Hanover Market HouseMarburg Estate Winery sets up shop Saturdays from 6 a.m.–noon. 210 E. Chestnut St., Hanover, (717) 632-1358 
  • Markets at Hanover: Go for the wine, stay for the brick-oven pizzas. If you’re into fruit wines, Jackson Square Vineyard offers a variety, including pear, mango and an aptly named Paralyzing Peach. Adams County Winery is another local favorite with a market stand. Open Thursday–Saturday (with evening hours somewhat atypical of local markets). 1649 Broadway, Hanover, (717) 646-1649 
  • New Eastern MarketFitzkee’s Candies, Martin’s and Utz are stalwarts at this Friday-only market (7 a.m.–6 p.m.); grab a nice Bordeaux blend or Chardonnay from Allegro on your way out. 201 Memory Ln., York, (717) 755-5811 

Honorary Outlets

Turkey Hill Experience

Factory outlet purists may disagree, but I think there’s something to be said for slapping your name on a giant personalized Hershey’s chocolate bar or playing Ice Cream Maker for a Day—not to mention the sheer joy of taking a selfie with a 20-foot dairy cow or trying to lift a 4,000-pound barbell (give-or-take) after a protein shake.

These stops are more accurately described as retail stores and corporate visitor centers, but they’re still awesome. (Note: While Hershey’s Chocolate World and the Turkey Hill Experience aren’t in York County, both are only short drive away and worth including in any area round-up.) Check them out:

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