Lynnae Schneller of Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles was more than happy to go into business with her dear friend Aly – but under one supreme, unavoidable condition: Aly couldn't learn the 100 year-old secret family recipe until she married Lynnae's brother, DJ. Fortunately, the couple was amenable (in fact, they were already engaged), wedding bells rang, and Lynnae and Aly began to produce Grandma "Toots'" pickles out of a trailer-turned-commercial-kitchen in Tacoma, Washington.
Almost immediately the two began selling pickles faster than they could make them. Within their first week, they sold over 1,000 jars. They quickly outgrew their trailer and moved to a co-packing facility where they create large batches every few months. But even as the business grows, each batch of brine carefully follows the original recipe and is hand-packed by the sisters-in-law and a small, trusted team.
Aly simply can't share the secret recipe or process (what would Grandma Toots say!), but does credit its success to a unique combination of sweet and sour. Each jar is jam-packed with gluten-free, locally-sourced, all natural ingredients – right from the cucumbers, all the way down to the garlic and jalapeños in their Hot Mama spicy pickles, their own spin on the family’s pickle legacy.
The best part of producing pickles is being able to work with family, bound by a historic recipe that has brought the women of the family together for generations. Though their small pickling business has rapidly taken off, they continue to get the family together for a yearly day of pickling.
Any pickle disasters?
Our very first trade show, we decided to ship our pickles down to California and being new to shipping jars didn't put much thought into packaging. We arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to our first trade show only to discover the delivery had made its way to our booth in plastic bags. We opened them up to find 50 broken jars of pickles, and a smell you wouldn't believe! We spend the first hour of the show cutting our unbroken pickles into tiny bite-size mini samples for everyone to try. Needless to say, we learned our lesson in shipping jars!
The quickest, tastiest lunch?
A Hot Mama or Mrs. Pickles spear wrapped in a slice of ham smeared with cream cheese.