Thinking Mitchell’s White Sweet Shoe Peg Corn

Mitchell’s White corn

For generations, white sweet shoe peg corn was a staple of the Delmarva and East Coast. And one of the great brands was Mitchell’s Whole Kernel Fancy White Sweet Corn, made by Hanover Foods of Hanover, Pennsylvania. We found a can on the shelves, but we didn’t know if it was still around. (Above, their yellow corn package).

What’s so great about Shoe Peg corn? It’s sweeter and because the kernels are all irregular, it has the feel of something more exotic. And the brand Mitchell’s is way cool; the label is still classic and they have not messed it up. It was originally made by Malcolm Mitchell of F.O. Mitchell & Bro., Inc.. It was one of dozens of regional grocery and canned vegetable brands on the Eastern Shore.

What’s the difference between white sweet and other corn? First, it’s white, and that makes it very different. We found a telling discussion on Chowhound that tells some more about it. A bit from the site:

‘Mitchell’s’, which was/is a farming family in Perryman, Harford County. The Mitchells have pretty much subdivided and sold all their farmland for industrial development, which probably accounts for the absence of the product in the supermarkets.

So we looked for it. Hanover, on its website, was founded in 1924 and remarks that it is the largest fully integrated food processor in the U.S. They make a number of different brand names. From the website we found the following brands:

  • Bickel’s
  • Superfine
  • Spring Glen Fresh Foods
  • Dutch Farms
  • Gibbs
  • Mitchell’s
  • Myers
  • Bonton Foods
  • Draper King Cole
  • Casa Maid
  • Sunny Side
  • Sunwise
  • Phillip’s
  • York Snacks
  • L.K. Bowman

Find the company online at


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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  1. Wow! I worked at the farm while I was a teenager.

  2. I grew up in Aberdeen MD and now live in Perryman MD. As a teenager I worked 2 summers in the Mitchell cannery in Perryman MD at the cutter blades cutting the corn off the cob, what a time I had. I remember the hot hot days, corn worms, and of course eating the best on/off the cob corn ever, shoe peg corn. We don’t see any of that shoe peg corn grown in Perryman any more and really miss it.

  3. I lived in Willoughby Beach on the Bush River during the mid ;70s. I had 5 kids to feed. The Michelle’s family always allowed the Biblical “scavenger” picking after the machines would shut down at the end of the day. Many of us waited for the machines to stop and would head for the end of the picked rows where the machines would turn around for the next row. There was always plenty of that white shoepeg corn that would fall from the machines. We would fill bushel baskets full of beautiful corn. Sure helped the food bills. Learned to can that corn myself. And many times there would be an area of a field that would be bogged and muddy. Those fields would be identified to us by the farm hands and we could pick right from the stalk if we didn’t mind getting muddy. The kids found it great fun. Lots of great memories during those years. Not sure the big conglomerate farms would ever allow scavenger picking these days. Shows the Mitchell family for the kind, Christian people they were. Thanks to them for the great corn and precious fun family times.

  4. My great aunt, Anna Gallion Bonnett, lived at 119 Bon Air Avenue and worked for F. O. Mitchell & Sons for about 60 years. Every year we received a case of canned shoe peg corn. It made the best corn pudding I have ever tasted. My uncle would drive to Perryman every year during canning season to get several grocery bags full of fresh corn and bring them back to our family in Richmond.
    I have wonderful memories of summers in Aberdeen and going to school there in the fall of 1947, awaiting the construction of our home in Richmond when I was ten years old.

  5. Hello.
    Are there any locations for FRESH shoe peg corn in Maryland?
    I remember my father raving about the wonderful fresh shoe peg corn in the Aberdeen, MD area when we lived there in the 1963 to 1965 timeframe.

  6. There is miss -information here…. Mitchell’s corn in Perryman, MD. Was owned and operated by F. O. Mitchell and Bros. That stands for Fredrick O’Neill Michell. Although the cannery was shut down and the label was sold to Hannover around 1987…. Hundreds of acres are still there being farmed in Perryman by the Mitchell/Pearce family.

  7. I’m 56. When I was a little kid, we ALWAYS had Mitchell’s Shoe Peg corn for every big occasion…..any big holiday dinner……it was for special occasions. I loved it and still do. Also their great hominy. And I am so glad that they haven’t messed with either of them…….they are still the same as always.

  8. ‘Mitchell’s’, which was/is a farming family in Perryman, Harford County…

    My Grandfather sold his farmland, which was sharecropped, as well as the cannery and labels in the 70’s. Unfortunately that was before my time as I am now trying to get back onto a hobby farm and grow some of the family legacy.

  9. Looking for White Shoe Peg in a number 10 can or larger: frozen or canned.

  10. Clipped from our Facebook conversation:
    Funny you should mention that. We have a Mitchell’s White Shoe Peg Corn can on our kitchen sink counter. It’s currently holding a couple of vegetable brushes. And before you ask, yes, I bought it for the graphics.
    [To answer] your question[,] I remember liking it just fine, as I recall it was a fresh, crisp and tasty shoe peg corn. But then what else would you expect from a can that has the word “fancy” written right on it?

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