U.S. father, son drove 2 days to Ontario just for ketchup chips

An American father-son duo drove for two days in an old army Jeep just to buy ketchup chips in Canada last week.

“We only crossed the border to buy the chips,” Rich Lieberman told CTV News Toronto on Saturday after buying 40 burgundy bags of Lay’s potato chips only available in Canada.

Father and son Rich and Jacob Lieberman visited a grocery store in Ontario last Saturday to buy ketchup chips (Facebook/ No Frills). Lieberman and his 15-year-old son, Jacob, boarded their old army Jeep, which only travels approximately 70 kilometres per hour, in Virginia and set their sights on Niagara Falls, Ont.

“We joked it was a grocery run,” he said. “We had some time to kill before school starts.”

While the drive could have technically taken under 10 hours, Lieberman and Jacob chose to drive their open-air Jeep named Gertrude down the backroads to their final destination – No Frills on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

“Jacob is deaf and he’s legally blind so he can still see, but he’s legally blind, so he loves the sensation of the car,” Lieberman said. With the wind blowing in his face, Jacob smiles for half the drive, he added.

Jacob discovered his love for the potato chip doused in ketchup-flavoured seasoning while on another father-son road trip last summer driving through Canada on the Alaska Highway.

Through sign language, Jacob said he’s a fan of the Canadian classic because of his love of ketchup.

“This kid has been known to put ketchup on apples,” Lieberman said.

Together, the duo has road tripped across all 50 states, and half of Canada, including the Northwest Territories.

Jacob Lieberman in his father’s army Jeep in front of Niagara Falls, Ont. (Supplied). Lieberman acknowledged that the tangy snack is available to order on Amazon, but he said, “this trip was about having fun.”

When they arrived at their destination and started loading a grocery cart with ketchup chips, an employee took notice and helped them track down a box.

Last Saturday, Jim’s No Frills on Lundy’s Lane posted a photo of Jacob on Facebook. The post has since garnered more than 9,000 likes with one person even offering to ship Jacob his favourite chips a few times a year.

Jacob Lieberman stands beside his beloved ketchup chips after travelling two days (Supplied). Canadians have been known to travel south of the border to Trader Joe’s for mixed nut butters and dark chocolate peanut butter cups, but some commented on the underrated local treasures worth making a trip for, including Coffee Crisps and Smarties.

Next summer, Lieberman said they plan on returning to Canada for another year’s worth of ketchup chips. But until then, they’ll make do with their 40 bags. 

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