Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1090132

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Page 50 of 87

producer profile C uring California olives was Bradley Bennett's original specialty food idea—until he learned the process takes months. He didn't have the patience. Quick pickles looked less labor intensive, something he could make in a day. Plus, the Santa Barbara native saw a void in the marketplace. "At the time, there weren't really any other notable West Coast-based pickle compa- nies," says Bennett, 49, who founded Pacific Pickle Works in 2010. The f lavor profile he envisioned would have more heat and aromatics than East Coast deli-style pickles, which are more garlic and dill-forward, he says. He would use peak season, California-grown cucumbers, asparagus, green beans, beets, jalapeño, and arbol chile peppers. Tinkering in his home kitchen, he started making bold and spicy pickle blends for his family and friends at Christmas. His process started in 2001, using organic produce from the local farmers market. When he incorporated the company nine years later, Principal Pickle was the official title he gave himself. "I'm a Virgo and a bit of a perfectionist," Bennett says of how long it took to refine the brining recipes. "I'll keep at something until I figure it out." New to Food Bennet had not previously worked in the food industry and studied architecture at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. After graduating in 1992, he mostly worked as a software developer and engineering executive. One of those jobs introduced him to the world of hospitality, working behind the scenes on touch screen systems for high-profile res- — 2010 Pacific Pickle Works is incorporated in Santa Barbara, Calif. — 2011 First four products (Jalabeaños, Asparagusto Pickled Asparagus, Unbeetables Pickled Beets, and Cukarambas, now called ¡Ay Cukarambas!) are placed in four Santa Barbara stores — 2012 Fenn Shui pickled fennel launches — 2013 Bloody Mary Elixir is released; Kickstarter campaign raises $32,866 to help fund a new production facility — 2015 Wins first Good Food Award for Jalabeaños; Brussizzle Sprouts launches; Union Street Makerspace opens its new, 2,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and incubator for startups — 2016 Wins sofi Award for 'Best Appetizer'-Brussizzle Sprouts; wins top honors at three major international spirits competitions for Bloody Mary Elixir; releases Michelada Shrub & Pickle Brine — 2017 Pickle production reaches 1,000 jars per day; becomes Non-GMO Project Verified — 2019 Wins judges' choice and fan favorite at SFA Front Burner Foodservice Pitch Competition for Michelada Shrub; Bloody Mary Elixir named Super Bowl pick by Parade magazine HIGHLIGHTS 48 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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