Whether its grocery shopping or visiting the Bronxville Farmer’s Market, a jar of pickles always seems to find its way into our refrigerator. The hungrier half of FP (Allen) admits he has a slight addiction to pickles. Who can blame him? Last month at the Fancy Food Show, Allen indulged in all different types of food with multiple stops at tables that served– you guessed it, pickles! One brand of pickles that stood out in Allen’s mind was Grillo’s Pickles. Recently, Allen got chance to sample more of Grillo’s Pickles with recent meals (chicken wraps, pasta) and learned more about the company from Miles McAlpin, Marketing Manager at Grillo’s.
FP: I definitely enjoyed Grillo’s Pickles at the Fancy Food Show! How did the concept come about?
MM: In 2008, Travis Grillo took a one hundred year old family recipe and started selling pickles out of the back of his 1985 Cutlass Supreme. His products soon made their way into their first store, Salem Prime Cuts in Salem, Connecticut. In 2009, Travis took to Boston and sold Grillo’s by the spear, out of a wooden cart in the Boston Commons. It wasn’t long before local grocers and specialty food stores took notice and decided to stock their shelves with Grillo’s fresh, all natural, hand-packed pickles. After initial stores sold out of their first shipments within days, other stores caught on. By the end of 2010, Grillo’s were available in over fifty stores.
FP: What a great story!
Where can consumers find Grillo’s pickles?
MM: In the past few years, Grillo’s has continued to grow and can now be found at Whole Foods, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, and other fine retailers. In addition, Grillo’s can be found at SOWA outdoor market, an array of farmers markets, several local restaurants, and even Fenway Park! Currently, Grillo’s are distributed by Cambridge Packing, US Foods and Albert’s Organics. Last, but not least, Grillo’s Pickles and an assortment of other pickled vegetables can be found at the Grillo’s Pickles brick and mortar store in Cambridge, MA!
FP: From humble beginnings to Fenway Park to a brick and mortar store…keep up the great work!
Do you cook at home? If so, what are some of your favorite meals to prepare for yourself?
MM: I cook at home a few times a week. I am a big rice guy, so I always have the rice cooker going and then either steamed or stir fried vegetables to go with a a protein either grilled chicken, ground turkey, or fish.
FP: What meals do you enjoy most with pickles?
MM: I often incorporate Grillo’s jalapenos into the veggies to give them some kick and I always cook fish with our pickled fennel! Or of course if I am making something simpler like a burger or grilled cheese, our pickle chips or sliced pickled green tomatoes are a perfect fit!
FP: I would eat pickles at every meal if I could!
When you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places in the Boston area.
My favorite restaurants in the Boston area are Tupelo (southern style comfort foods), which is right down the street from our shop in Inman square or Cambridge 1 for top notch flat brick oven pizza in Harvard Square. For sushi I head out to a somewhat secret (shhhh) gem of a place called Toraya in Arlington. Also Strip-T’s in Watertown – It is somewhat American fare, but with everything from banh mi sandwiches to cubanos that give it some international flair. I have tried almost everything on the menu and have been impressed on each occasion.
FP: Great list! Kristina and I will have to check some of the places out when we visit Boston in the future.
What are some of your guilty pleasures? Kristina and I like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name.
My guilty pleasure foods are all of the cold treats nature – currently in my freezer there are four different kinds of frozen yogurt, two different kinds of ice cream, one kind of gelato, and one kind of mochi! It is of note that I live alone…
FP: Kristina and I like our share of frozen yogurt and ice cream so no judgement here! 🙂 Thank you so much for your time and we wish you and Travis continued success with Grillo’s Pickles.
If you like pickles as much as I do, make sure to visit Grillo’s Pickles online (or at their new store in Cambridge, MA) and get yourself a few containers. You won’t be disappointed!