LOOKING AHEAD: Shannon's Hot Chips operator Clyde Horrex is still smiling, despite a year that has truly thrown the business into the unknown.
LOOKING AHEAD: Shannon's Hot Chips operator Clyde Horrex is still smiling, despite a year that has truly thrown the business into the unknown.

Pop-up a blessing after show season decimated by virus

SHANNON’S Hot Potato Chips is the food van known for bringing irresistibly tasty chips to hungry Queenslanders nine-and-a-half months out of the year but 2020 has thrown its owners a curveball like no other.

The last time the family business opened up doors was at Stanthorpe’s Apple and Grape Festival in March, according to owner Clyde Horrex.

“Covid was just starting to pick up pace then so we got stock and planned for the worst, hoped for the best,” Mr Horrex said.

“That went well and when we got home and decided to order more potatoes to do the Warwick and Toowoomba show, ordered the stock on the Thursday and on the Monday it collapsed.

“The whole lot — done.”

The van, which was founded by Mr Horrex’s uncle, travels from as far as Glen Innes to Cairns during show season, and Mr Horrex estimated there would be close to 40 events they’ll miss out on this year.

“There’s a lot of time to catch up on jobs at home but that’s not paying the bills,” he said.

Shannon's Hot Potato Chips, in its original form, has always been a staple at the Warwick Show.
Shannon's Hot Potato Chips, in its original form, has always been a staple at the Warwick Show.

It was why today’s pop-up was such a joy — not only for Mr Horrex but for the whole Warwick community.

Warwick Show and Rodeo Society Marketing and events manager Teilah McKelvey, who helped organise the event, said the chip van “was a given” to Warwick Show attendees.

“Shannon’s have the exact same spot every show, every rodeo,” Mrs McKelvey said.

“They get here first and the tradies work around them. Even Summer (Mrs McKelvey’s daughter) said when they set up this morning, ‘mum it smells like show time’.”

Visiting our region annually since its 1948 establishment, Mr Horrex said he was honoured to be offered this reprieve from the “unknown”.

“We’d like to thank the show society by really helping us and letting us work today. It’s so good for our morale to be able to give everyone some tasty treats,” he said.

“Our son drove to Bundaberg to get these potatoes especially, and it’s great to think that the people of Warwick think this much of it.”

– The pop-up will be at the Warwick Showgrounds from 10—8pm today.



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