All you need is love, but a great pickle recipe doesn't hurt. Betsy Walton inherited her Grandma Rose's recipes and talent for pickling, but she's most grateful to her grandma for something else. The day she met Duke Walton, she could swear her Grandma was sitting on her shoulder, whispering in her ear, "He's the one."
Duke and Betsy had been making Grandma Rose's pickles for years, giving them as gifts to family and friends. But they lived in Portland, so it was inevitable that pickle making would slowly take over their lives. Betsy took a class called "Getting Your Recipe to Market" at Portland's Food Innovation Center (hello Portlandia!), the first step toward their very own pickle business.
Betsy's mom taught her to make pickles from their abundant home garden, so Betsy knew how important it was to use fresh, peak-season produce. The pair makes pickles just once a year and sources as much as possible from local farmers. Cucumbers, dill and green beans are grown on nearby Sauvie Island, and the pickles are all hand-packed in McMinnville. It's quite a challenge to ensure that all the ingredients and materials make it to their co-packer on time (not a day early or late) – after all, they're making several thousand pounds of pickled produce!
It was Duke's idea to spice up Grandma Rose's recipes with Thai chiles, so they renamed the dill pickles "Duker's Hot Dills." But they'll never change Rose's Rosemary Lemon beans. The couple learns something new almost every day, says Betsy, but that's why she loves the business. Almost as much as she loves Duke.
Best way to serve your pickles?
Right out of the jar! Or try the Duker's Dills Hot Pickles with sharp cheddar cheese for a terrific combo.
Biggest obstacle to world pickle domination?