Milwaukee 'Brew City Pickles seeks to provide space for Wisconsin food producers

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- This is a story about something more than pickles.

"You tell your parents you're going to quit your corporate job, with a 401k, and like profit share, to make pickles, they get a little worry-some," said Jessie Avery, Co-owner of Brew City Pickles.

The Milwaukee based family-owned company is located on the cities northwest side.

The company started back in 2017 with an LLC producing just two items.

"We had a classic pickle and a classic dilly bean, and that was it," said Avery.

The owners said the company is a labor of love, with modest beginnings.

"Started off very slow, had probably only ten people in the store," said Avery.

The venture has since grown, hiring a complete staff, opening their first storefront, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The store doubles as a space for local Wisconsin staples to sale their goods, a space during a time where things seemed very much uncertain.

"We really wanted to expand and help other local business, that maybe didn’t have those venues to sell; in the winter when there aren’t many markets or doing covid when there were no markets. It really gave them platforms and exposure to sell their products," said Avery.

Since 2017, Brew City Pickles has created 35 unique pickled recipes.

"Corn, beef sticks, cocktail mixes, you name it we got it."

The recipes for these unique flavors date back generations.

"The basic come from my great grandmother recipe and then my dad pickled all while growing up," said Avery.

"One of the things we pride ourselves on is crunch, that would be a hard one (Cotton Candy) if it doesn’t crunch coming in, it's not going to crunch coming."

Jessie Avery is just one of the of the mastermind behind this unique shop, cue Tony Galbari.

Both Avery and Galbari are parents of young boys, they wanted to create a product which was family friendly, catering to people who were being conscious about what they are putting into their bodies, turning this business into a family affair.

"We take our kids to the market, they help sample, they help ring after work, this is a true family business where we get all hands-on deck, said Avery.

Those products have made their way across the world.

"France, someone posted it up there, people come in or drive by, and then they will finally stop in and say you have so much more than just pickles," said Avery.

Avery chalked the global success up to a couple of things, but front and center, presentation.

"You need to stand out, your label needs to stand out, and your product needs to look good," said Avery.

Looking good is one thing, tasting good is another, cue the creative mind behind some of the unique flavors, Galbari.

"Already the wheels are spinning, going okay what can we do with this? what type of fun can we have with that," said Galbari.

Galbari said, not every pickle styled recipe works, but when they do, they are an instant success.

The pickle making process is all done by hand, from the cutting of the product to the stuffing of the jars.

 "Each one of the products had a trial-and-error process, and each one of the products took a couple of different tries to figure out exactly how we wanted it to go on the market," said Avery.

The owners say the flavors go beyond taste and can often unlock hidden memories. 

"My wife who passed away use to make these, and it taste just like that, and that, literally makes you melt," said Galbari.

The owners said they are gearing up for the holiday season, with their busiest months beginning in November.

"Every year we grow, and the demand becomes more, but we are more and more prepared for that and it's really exciting," said Avery.

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