Bet You Can’t Eat Just One


Photo contributed by Kallie Wagner.

Kallie supported her dad by telling her friends and others to vote for the Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips.

For weeks James Wagner had been sworn to secrecy.

Not even his family could know.

Lay’s had contacted Wagner about being a potential finalist for the Lay’s Do Us A Flavor competition, but he didn’t think anything of it. Then there was a knock on the door.

He opened the door and saw celebrity Nick Lachey standing on his doorstep holding a silver platter with a large oval shaped lid.

After opening the lid Wagner saw none other than the chip bag he had decorated.

After being congratulated by Lachey, Wagner discovered he’d become a 1 in 4 finalist in the competition.

The idea of a Greektown Gyro came from Wagner’s extensive travel abroad; he discovered the flavor in Germany.

“When I first joined the Air Force, I was stationed in Germany,” Wagner said. “At the base I was at, there was a little family-owned gyro stand that I used to eat at all the time. I fell in love with the taste of gyros.”

Wanting to find the flavor again after moving, Wagner and his wife “hunted” for good gyros.

“We found the Hibiscus Cafe here in Wichita Falls and I once again fell in love with the taste of gyros,” Wagner said. “When it was time for the contest, I was coming up with ideas and I had just eaten a gyro from Hibiscus a couple days before. I thought that the gyro flavor would make the perfect chip.”

Because of the ads splattered across social media and on TV, Wagner decided to look on the Do Us A Flavor website to see the rules in order to submit his flavor.

“I thought that it would be fun to submit some cool ideas,” Wagner said. “I certainly didn’t think I’d be a finalist, I just wanted Lay’s to know that I wanted a gyro flavored chip.”

Wagner then began the process of submitting his flavor.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

“I had to submit three ingredients that were at the heart of the flavor, so I submitted pita, lamb, and tzatziki sauce,” Wagner said. “Then I had to choose whether I wanted it to be a regular chip, a wavy chip, or a kettle cooked chip. I chose kettle cooked because I love kettle cooked chips.”

After he found out that his chips had been selected, he was finally able to tell his family: his wife, Heather, and his kids‑yearbook editor-in-chief Kallie, freshman James and sixth grader Josh.

“I didn’t believe it at first, I thought they were lying,” Kallie said. “I thought that they were just trying to be funny. It was really crazy when I found out.”

Once the voting started on July 27, Kallie and her family began voting every day until the final voting day, Oct. 18.

“I tried to tell as many people as I can about my dad’s chips,” Kallie said. “I voted for him every day and tried to keep him positive.”

Because they needed votes for their chip flavor to win, Wagner took to all sources of social media to get more support nationwide.

“My dad was always on his phone,” Kallie said. “It’s weird because he never used social media, but now he has a twitter and instagram for it.”

Wagner and his family have been receiving a tremendous amount of support throughout the voting process.

“The Wichita Falls community has been awesome,” Wagner said.  “The social media outpour has been amazing and when I talk to people in person, most people have heard of “the local guy in the competition” and usually freak out when they realize I’m that guy.”

Although the Southern Biscuits and Gravy flavor was announced  the winner, Wagner was still glad to be a finalist in the competition.

“I feel that we have been blessed beyond our imaginations,” Wagner said. “It’s amazing to know that this is something that I had never planned for or even dreamt of, but God blessed us with this and we are grateful.”