Sweet Sour Salty & Co is a new Richmond-based business that offers inventive, hand-cut “farm-to jar” pickles, and they’re also pretty interesting folks. I recommend chatting up CEO Jamie Fitzgerald if you see him at one of the 3 farmers markets where you can find Sweet Sour Salty & Co – South of the James, the Yorktown Farmers Market, and the Carytown Farmers Market. He’s a sociologist/pickle maker* among a team of well-educated, restaurant savvy people who are doing things a little differently.
Like, Share, or Comment on this post on GrowRVA’s Facebook Page, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a sampler of Sweet Sour Salty & Co pickles including Dracula’s Dilemma (pickled garlic), Moneymakers (bread & butter chips,) and It’s the Dilly Yo! (dill spears.)
1. What is the name of your business, and what do you sell?
a) Sweet Sour Salty & Co.
b) Pickled cucumbers and pickled garlic
2. What’s your most popular item, and why do you think it’s such a hit?
a) Pickled garlic – aka Dracula’s Dilemma
b) It’s very different from ALL other pickled garlic. It has multiple uses (brine is good for marinating fish, chicken, you can cook with brine, etc.) One’s imagination is the limit on this particular product. People just love it.
3. How long have you been in business? What is something that would surprise people about what you do?
a) One year as of July 1st.
b) Surprising? I’m a sociologist. Selling pickles at farmer’s markets is a ruse by which I am able to observe and collect data on group behavior.
4. What other market vendors do you trade with or buy from?
a) Any vendor that tries our pickles wants a) to buy, b) to trade andor c) comes back to sample the garlic as many times as they can. Usually it’s anybody that is set up next to us or knows about us. Night Sky Farms and Billy Bread are big fans because their products and ours go hand in hand.
5. Describe your typical market Saturday:
a) It’s starts on Friday. We go to the place where we store the product and load up the jeeps for market. One goes to Yorktown and one (me) goes to South of the James. We have to load up the product after dark to keep it cool. We fill the coolers with sample jars and blocks of ice. Saturday morning the Yorktown crew heads out at 5:30 am to get there on time, while I get to sleep in until 6:00 am.
b) Arrive at SOJ about 7:10 am and set up my spot way in the back. Fiddle with our banner until I can get that to work, set up the tent, set up the tables, chat with my co-vendors until the customers start to roll in. THEN: it’s non-stop hawking to get every person out there over to the tent to try the samples. After the “OH!”, “That’s awesome!”, “Wow!”, and “That is delicious!”, most people buy some and some people don’t. After four hours of this, I’m exhausted. At the end I get the last few customers and vendors nearby to eat the rest of the samples (which often leads to trades and such), and then I began the process of packing up. Once that’s done I take the remaining product (if there is any left) back to the warehouse, count the pennies and prepare for the Carytown Farmer’s Market the very next day. It’s never ending really; production all week and markets all weekend. That’s the life of a sociologist disguised as a pickler.
*my new favorite job title!