Aren’t these girls just adorable!?
I accidentally discovered them while I was auditioning for the show, Supermarket Superstars (Which I have yet to hear from btw. Grr.)
Anyway, I loved their audition video, their bubbling personalities, and as soon as I tried them, their sweet and sassy pickles. Check out their audition video, read the interview, and enter to win some jars of these gourmet pickles yourself!
Let’s get started! Interview with the VP Aly Cullinane:
Bree: Your jars are obviously very cute, but what makes the pickles themselves so special?
Aly: Our pickles are made using a secret family recipe that has been handed down to the women in our family for over 5 generations. Lynnae was a part of the recipe by birth, and Aly waited 7 years (until she married Lynnae’s brother DJ) until she was let in on the family secret! Our pickles are uniquely flavored and are made using only the highest quality ingredients. “Mrs. Pickles” is our secret family recipe, which is our original sweet and sour dill. The spin-off of Grandma Toots’ old favorite is “Hot Mama”, which is our original sweet and sour dill with a kick of jalapeno, now our bestseller! Try them and they will leave you with a watering mouth and an empty jar!
Bree: Did you feel strongly about using all natural ingredients?Why?
Aly: Absolutely. We have always used all natural ingredients when making them with family, and when we started the business that was something we were not willing to compromise on. We ensure that every batch has the same authentic flavor, crunch and straightforward ingredients that helped us to first establish our business.
Bree: Where are the pickles manufactured?
Aly: We have pickled all over the place! When we first started out, we were renting commercial kitchens around our city, lugging our canning materials in and out each day. Within 6 months, we were able to purchase a small commercial kitchen. Since then, we have grown out of the kitchen and have started to rent out a larger facility that has the proper canning tools/machinery to increase our volume to grow even more. Who knows where we will be pickling next!
Bree: What’s been your biggest hurdle so far?
Aly: The biggest hurdle so far for us has been growing too quickly. Each day is a new adventure with new challenges. When we were still pickling in our small kitchen, we were starting to get orders we just couldn’t produce fast enough. We have really been learning along the way. Neither of us has a background in food and taken quite a leap of faith by quitting our full-time jobs this past year to focus on the growth of our business. What we have learned though, is that we can do what we put our minds and time towards, (with the help of multiple to-do lists!) to achieve our ever-changing immediate and focused long-term goals.
Bree: Proudest moment?
Aly: Our proudest moment will always be the first time we walked into a store and saw our pickles on the shelves! Really, each time we see our jar on the shelf it is assurance that we are on the right path and that customers are supporting us. We wouldn’t be where we are without our loyal customers, and there is nothing we love more than meeting them. At events or at store demos, we love hearing about how our customers use our pickles, how refreshing our “all natural” approach is, or just how much they love the flavors! Our business always comes back to how we started, as a family, and we are lucky to be able to share our family tradition with families around the nation.
Bree: Where can we find your pickles?
Aly: So far, we have saturated our home state of Washington and the west coast, and are moving Eastward! Go to www.lynnaesgourmetpickles.com and click on “Store Locator” to enter your zipcode and find a store near you. While you’re waiting for us to be on your local store’s shelves, you can also order online on our website under “Buy Online”.
Bree: How do you juggle being moms, wives, friends, business owners?!
Aly: Life balance is something we talk about and work on daily. We set goals together once a month, and are both clear on where we want our personal lives and business to be both now and in the future. Since we are sisters-in-law, business partners, and friends we are able to confide and rely on one another in all aspects of life. We have been blessed to share this journey, and are able to divide and conquer. Our business and family lives often intermingle, and creating schedules and timelines has helped us to enjoy owning a business even more. We have even had time lately to hit to gym together…now that is a benefit! Each day we have to consciously choose “what is most important TODAY”, and follow it rigorously. Whether that is to commit to 8 hours at the office, or work from home to get the 5 loads of laundry and endless dishes done in between phone conferences and paperwork, we do what is needed. Recognizing the amount of time you will need to start a business and then prioritizing other aspects of life is a juggling act, but can be accomplished.
Bree: What advice would you give a mom who wanted to start a new business?
Aly: Starting a business comes with amazing benefits as well as plenty of challenges. We quickly realized that the ups and downs are normal and not to give up on our end goal. It is so important to stay creative and to never get complacent in where your business is. There is always something more you can be doing (which is both a blessing and a curse when you have a family!) to take it to the next level. Owning your own business revolves around being faithful in sowing seeds and eventually reaping the harvest, even if you can’t see an immediate reward.
And the winnner is….Marty! Congrats!