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This past month, Ross, Dixon & Bell senior partner Stuart Ross has seen his work showcased in two magazines — his work, that is, as owner of a potato chip company. Newsweek dubbed Rusty’s Chips, which Ross founded in 2000 with California surfer Rusty Vasterling, one of the top five brands in the country. Real Simple called them one of the best unflavored chips. The 65-year-old insurance litigator says he met Vasterling while vacationing on Balboa Island, Calif., in the 1980s. Vasterling has the more hands-on role in the venture, actually slicing the potatoes, while Ross provides business advice and financial support. Although the company isn’t making billions, Ross says it’s a fun side project. “When someone asks you what you do for a living, it’s much more interesting to say that you’re in the chip business,” he notes. Currently the chips can only be found in stores in Southern California and at a Las Vegas resort, but the owners are considering ways to make them more widely available. For now, curious customers can order the chips by mail or phone. Ross suggests that it’s word of mouth from taste tests that has fed the recent buzz. “Everyone says the same thing, which is, ‘I’ve never tasted a chip like this in my life,’ ” he says.
Hilary Lewis can be contacted at [email protected]

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