Many of our makers call their product a “labor of love,” but when it comes to Randy and Cori Kopke of Backyard Brine, the phrase can be taken literally. In 2013, the couple initially started making pickles using leftover produce from their home garden in the North Fork of Long Island. A year after their briny experimentations began, Cori’s brother asked if they would create custom pickles as a take home favor for his wedding guests. Randy and Cori found a way to make even pickles romantic for the special day, as guests were delighted to find jars labeled “Dill Death Do Us Part” and “We Go Together Like… Bread and Butter.” But these pickles were no joke.
The Kopkes took note. The craft food scene was alive and well in the North Fork, and the Stony Brook Business Incubator at Calverton looked like a great space to make artisan pickles using only local and natural ingredients. Lyle Wells grows acres of cucumbers for them down the road. Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and quail eggs for more briny creations come from Feisty Acres, seven minutes up the fork. They honed their product and spread the word, mostly through a network of farmers and makers.
The feel-good vibes of this couple and their love-ly company never stop. Their baby niece Addison was diagnosed with Moebius Syndrome, a rare neurological condition. Moved by little Addie and her persevering spirit, they started donating a portion of their pickle sales to MS Awareness and The #KindnessisEverything fundraising event.
Backyard Brine – a labor of love that’s got us moved to spears.