I’d love to start by telling you about my long-ago Polish-Jewish immigrant great-grandparents who struggled to come to America, arrived at Ellis Island, and began their new life with a pickle cart and a dream…But since my family is 100% Irish, this tale probably wouldn’t fly too far.

Growing up, my grandmother lived a block away. She was an entrepreneur for her time, making plenty of money renting rooms, and, at one time, running a hotel and bootlegging business through the Long Island Railroad during prohibition. Unfortunately, she couldn’t cook worth a hoot. On the other hand, my wife's grandmother, Giovanna, grew up on a farm in Canarsie/Brooklyn and was a tremendous cook. Giovanna created a solid recipe for pickled green tomatoes. Italians, although famous for great recipes, are just as famous for not writing them down (Giovanna included). ”A little bit of this and a little bit of that…” is hard to replicate for 300 jars of pickles a week.  

Truth be told, it took about ten years of tweaking and experimentation to replicate pickles found in abundance during my youth in New York. This style of pickle is hard to find in Michigan, so out of necessity and nostalgia the Traverse City Pickle Company was born. My grandson, Francis, however, will now have a great story about his grandparents who struggled to come to Michigan, arrived in Traverse City, and opened a "pickle cart" with a dream…