August 18, 2016
Our third Annual Report for Real Pickles Cooperative features highlights of our mission-related work for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. This year, we highlight our efforts to partner with our community to build a better food system. With assistance from two community loan funds, we grew our fermentation space to allow us to annually purchase 97,000 more pounds of regionally-grown organic vegetables! We partnered with Old Friends farm to bring you our newest product - Organic Turmeric Kraut. Yum. Plus we calculated how many pickle dollars were spent regionally to operate Real Pickles: 93% stayed in our community and supported our staff, our farmers, local vendors and mission-aligned organizations. Read on to learn about Kitchen Garden Farm, our newest Good Food Award, and our work with a team of engineering students at UMass Amherst. Check it out...
January 15, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Real Pickles' Organic Garlic Dill Pickles won a national award at the Good Food Awards ceremony in San Francisco.
Co-owners Dan Rosenberg and Addie Rose Holland joined about 800 farmers, food artisans, chefs and journalists from around the country in San Francisco on Friday for the Good Food Awards ceremony. "We're thrilled to be recognized for the flavor of our pickles, as well as the positive environmental and social impact of our business," said Holland after the winners had been announced. 'It's so inspiring to be at the Good Food Awards and to meet like-minded small producers from around the country."
The Good Food Awards are given to artisan producers in five regions of the U.S. in 13 categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits, and honey. The Good Food Awards highlight outstanding American food producers who are making food that is exceptionally delicious and supports sustainability and social good.
The Organic Garlic Dills were one of 197 winners chosen in a blind tasting from over 1,900 entries from around the country. There were 17 other winners from New England, including Shacksbury Cider in Middlebury, Vt., and Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown. Real Pickles' Organic Garlic Dills won the award in 2011 and 2012 and their Organic Beet Kvass was a winner in 2015.
July 9, 2015
Take a look at our second Annual Report for Real Pickles Co-operative, featuring highlights of our mission-related work for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. In this year's report, we calculated how many miles our vegetables travel on average from farm to fermentation, and fermentation to fork - the answer is: not many! We feature a farmer and a retailer, and report on where the vast majority of our waste goes (to the compost). You can also read about our worker-owner education program and our continuing efforts to build the New Economy through our co-operative business model and support in community capital-raising. It was a great year! Check it out...
For the past couple of years, we've been sponsoring an amateur bike racing team of passionate cyclists in the Pioneer Valley. These folks are not only committed to mountains, mud bogs, hard pedaling and sweet views, they are also diligent eaters of healthy, fermented, probiotic foods - like Real Pickles! Our sponsorship includes a downpayment on their cool jerseys (sporting the Real Pickles logo and veggies) as well as a regular discounted supply of fermented veggies and pickle brine. There's an historic conviction among many athletes, recently substantiated by science, that drinking pickle brine reduces muscle cramps. The members of the Real Pickles Racing Team are getting the highest quality brine to squelch their cramps, which appears to help them win races! You can drink pickle brine too - and ride in style with the rest of the pickle crew by ordering your own Real Pickles bike jersey here...
January 8, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Dan Rosenberg and Addie Rose Holland of Greenfield-based Real Pickles joined top artisan food producers from around the country for the Good Food Awards ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Real Pickles was awarded a top honor at the event for their Organic Beet Kvass, a fermented beverage traditional to Eastern Europe.
"One of our goals at Real Pickles has always been to promote the flavor and health benefits of fermented foods," said Rosenberg "Receiving a national honor like the Good Food Award helps us get this message out."
Real Pickles uses the traditional pickling process - without vinegar - to make its line of fermented vegetables. The Organic Beet Kvass is made with certified organic vegetables from northeast family farms, as are all of their products. The kvass is available by the bottle from area retailers, including Green Fields Co-op Market in Greenfield, River Valley Co-op Market in Northampton and Whole Foods Market in Hadley.
The Good Food Awards are given to artisan producers in five regions of the U.S. in eleven categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil and honey and highlight outstanding American food producers who are making food that is exceptionally delicious and supports sustainability and social good.
June 12, 2014
We've completed our Annual Report for fiscal year 2014, check it out! You'll find it filled with numbers and stories from our first year as a co-operative. It documents our highlights and major accomplishments from the past year and describes the multiple (financial, social, & environmental) bottom lines of our business. The report includes a farmer profile, a map of our product & supply chain, details on our environmental impact, staff employment and compensation, community engagement, and our brand new 5-year vision statement. Take a look to learn more about how we measure our success!
February 18, 2014
A new publication in CISA's Specialty Producer Profiles Series tells the story of our transition to a worker-owned co-operative and the community investment campaign that made it all possible. This account details our process of sorting through the financing options, seeking advice within our community, and launching our campaign. This could be a good resource for other businesses who are looking to raise capital direct from their local communities. Thanks to CISA for putting it all together so nicely! View the Case Study...
May 9, 2013
Thanks to huge support from our community, a successful community investment campaign, and many months of hard work from our founding co-op team here at Real Pickles, this morning we signed the documents that made the conversion official. Real Pickles is now "Real Pickles Co-operative." We are still the same folks who bring you healthy, fermented veggies from regional, organic farms - but now we have expanded our mission to include a democratic workplace and access to ownership for our employees. We have also secured our social mission for the long term! More info on our Invest page...
February 21, 2013
We are excited to announce the latest step in our plan to go co-op: An opportunity to invest in Real Pickles! To help make our transition to a worker co-operative a reality, we are selling non-voting preferred stock in Real Pickles. We are able to accept investments from residents of Massachusetts and Vermont. The minimum investment is $2,500. We are seeking to raise a total of $500,000, to allow for the co-operative purchase of the business and to provide funds necessary for us to increase production of our Northeast-grown, organic pickles. Investing in Real Pickles is an excellent way to support our transition to a co-operative structure - and our continuing work in helping to build a vibrant, regional, organic food system! Read the details on our Invest page...
October 10, 2012
We have big news to share: Real Pickles is becoming a worker co-operative!
We have been laying the groundwork for a co-op transition for a number of months now, and earlier this summer - during the UN's International Year of Cooperatives - we officially decided to make the switch! Everyone here is excited about the plan to convert Real Pickles to a worker co-op, and we will be working to make it happen over the next few months. We think a worker co-op structure will be an outstanding way to help ensure that Real Pickles will succeed far into the future - producing delicious and healthy food for people and making a lasting contribution to building a new and better food system! Read the full story in the Ferment Blog...
July 31, 2012
Judging by the release of TWO excellent (and beautiful) pickle books in recent months, there is no shortage of things to say about pickling of all kinds, fermented or otherwise. We are proud to report that Real Pickles is recognized in both! The Art of Fermentation is a follow-up to Sandor Ellix Katz's wildly popular Wild Fermentation, and in his chapter on "Commercial Enterprises" he includes much input from Real Pickles' Dan Rosenberg on tips and challenges of commercial-scale fermentation. The Pickled Pantry is a fantastically thorough reference for pickles of all kinds, with recipes for making the pickles themselves as well as recipes for using finished pickles in other dishes. The author, Andrea Chesman, also features stories of other picklers, including a profile of "The Real Folks behind Real Pickles". We even have a testimonial on the back cover! These books are both essential additions to the literature on DIY fermentation and pickle-making. We highly recommend them! Read more in the Ferment Blog...
January 13, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - For the second year in a row, Real Pickles was awarded a top honor for their Organic Garlic Dill Pickles at the Good Food Awards in San Francisco, hosted by renowned chef Alice Waters. The Good Food Awards highlight outstanding American food producers who are making food that is exceptionally delicious and supports sustainability and social good.
In addition to the pickle honor, Real Pickles' co-owner Dan Rosenberg was among those selected to address the audience of approximately 400 artisan food producers and other invited guests assembled for the ceremony. In his speech, Rosenberg lauded the Good Food Awards for its efforts to change the way we think about food in the U.S.
"With its efforts to promote both taste and social responsibility, the Good Food Awards are helping to bring 'good food' back into the American diet," said Rosenberg after the winners had been announced. "Pickles are an essential food - one that can keep people eating nutritious fruits and vegetables from regional sources all year long, regardless of how cold the weather gets."
As part of the award, Real Pickles was asked to recognize three members of their community who have contributed to the business' success. Rosenberg acknowledged Atlas Farm and Riverland Farm, two suppliers who grow vegetables for the winning Organic Garlic Dill Pickles, as well as Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) for their work on raising community awareness in western Massachusetts about the benefits of buying local food.
The Good Food Awards are given to artisan producers in five regions of the U.S. in eight categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles, preserves and spirits.
November 15, 2011
Real Pickles has been named a Finalist in the 2012 Good Food Awards! We captured two of the four spots in the Pickle category for the East region, with both our Organic Garlic Dill Pickles and Organic Red Cabbage chosen as contenders for Winner status. The Good Food Awards, now in its second year, seeks to highlight food producers making food that is "tasty, authentic, and responsibly produced". Last January, we were honored as a Winner for our Organic Garlic Dill Pickles in a ceremony hosted by renowned restauranteur Alice Waters. In January 2012, we will learn whether we have won a second time!
October 14, 2011
The social ferment in the streets these days has inspired us at Real Pickles to start our blog, Ferment. Dan leads off with some thoughts about the connections between making organic pickles and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Check it out and tell us what you think!
May 26, 2011
Real Pickles is proud to announce that our 311 Wells Street facility is now powered entirely with solar energy! In April 2011, we hired our neighbor, Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics, to install a 17 kW photovoltaic system for us. Consisting of 80 solar panels located on our rooftop, the system will annually produce over 18,000 kWh, more than enough to supply all of our facility's electricity needs. We're excited about this opportunity to contribute to the effort to reduce pollution and combat global climate change! Read the full story about our facility, including its energy efficiency features and photovoltaic system.
March 14, 2011
Real Pickles was honored at CISA's Annual Meeting the other night with a Local Hero Award for "helping to build the local food system of the future" through our work. We have huge respect for CISA and their "Be A Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown" campaign, so it's a thrill to be recognized by them. Thanks, CISA!
February 7, 2011
Our local non-profit, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, has published a case study of Real Pickles: Processing for Local Agriculture Case Study Series: Real Pickles. How do we as a society go about building strong local/regional food systems? What are some of the key challenges and how might they be overcome? This study focuses on lessons learned at Real Pickles as we have worked to increase the year-round supply in the Northeast of high quality foods produced from locally-raised ingredients. Happy reading!
January 15, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Dan Rosenberg and Addie Holland of Greenfield-based Real Pickles joined top artisan food producers from around the country on Friday for the Good Food Awards ceremony at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. At the event, restauranteur and food activist Alice Waters announced the winners and, much to the couple's delight, Real Pickles' Organic Garlic Dills was on the list.
"We're so pleased", said Rosenberg after the winners had been announced. "When we started the business in 2001, there was little awareness of the flavor and health benefits of fermented foods. We think we make great pickles but to be recognized in this national setting is very exciting."
Real Pickles uses traditional methods to make its line of fermented vegetables. Their Organic Garlic Dill Pickles, as with all of their products, are made with certified organic vegetables from local family farms, including Chamutka Farm in Whately and Atlas Farm in Deerfield. The garlic is sourced from Old Friends Farm in Amherst, and the dill from Riverland Farm in Sunderland. The pickles are available from area retailers including Green Fields Co-op Market in Greenfield, River Valley Market in Northampton, and many Whole Foods Market locations.
The Good Food Awards are given to artisan producers in five regions of the U.S. in seven categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles and preserves, and highlight outstanding American food producers who are making food that is exceptionally delicious and supports sustainability and social good.
Real Pickles' winning product was chosen from over 780 entries from around the country. There were four other winners from New England, including Barrington Coffee Roasting Company in Lee, Massachusetts, and Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont.