Jenkins praises employees for commitment to quality and success of business

(Nov. 8, 2019) Charles “Buddy” Jenkins, Jolly Roger Amusement Parks founder and owner of Thrasher’s French Fries, was speechless when he heard the latter was ranked as the best place in Maryland to get the golden, crispy treats.


Thrasher’s French Fries has been a staple of the Boardwalk since 1929, and has been ranked as Maryland’s Best French fry shop.

Thrasher’s was chosen by voters on Big 7 Travel, a travel magazine which polls for the best spots to eat in various places across the country, and even the world. On Oct. 30, the magazine announced the best French Fries locations in all 50 states. For Maryland, Thrasher’s French Fries was the winner.

Thrasher’s is successful because of the quality of its product, Jenkins said.

“This award makes me feel good because it shows that our inherent to quality never changes, regardless of supply of potatoes or the other ingredients,” Jenkins said. “We always maintain the quality. We obtain the finest potatoes in the country from Idaho and we get the finest vinegar and oil. That’s what we do. It’s always quality, quality, quality.”

In 1929, a man from Georgia, known as Mr. J.T. Thrasher, created a French fry-only concession stand, which used to be located in the breezeway of the Ocean City Amusement Pier. When he was unable to continue running the store, he sold it to Franklin “Crip” Hastings, a self-made entrepreneur.

Hastings moved Thrasher’s to the Boardwalk spot where it is presently located. The original process and recipe were never altered.

In 1974, Jenkins purchased Thrasher’s following Hastings’ death.

Jenkins also chose not to alter the original secret recipe or the cooking process. While improving and refining certain aspects of the operation, tradition was adhered to. Thirty-four years later, Thrasher’s French Fries is still under the same management.

Jenkins insisted the praise should not be directed to him, but to the hardworking employees.

“It shows the quality of management that we have at Thrasher’s with Les Morris, who is our manager, and the commitment in part of our employees,” he said. “They’re the ones who really deserve the credit. They never stop working.

“I’m very happy to have gotten an award for our people. It’s a way of recognizing them,” he added.

Throughout the summer there is always a line for the Boardwalk staple. Even during the offseason crowds flock to get their fry fix.

In fact, the fry shop is open every day, regardless of weather.

“There are many times we’ll be the only store on the whole Boardwalk that might be open because of weather, but we have to let it happen,” Jenkins said. “We’re open as long as there’s someone on that Boardwalk.”

Thrasher’s French Fries are available at three locations on the Boardwalk; the original spot at the inlet pier, Second Street and Eighth Street.

For more information about Thrasher’s French Fries, call 410-289-7232.

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