“Natural, old-world, bringing back the good feelings we had about our families and the home-cooked, wholesome experiences with something that tastes unique, refreshing and distinctive.”
Bubbies Pickles began in 1982 as a sideline hobby for former owner Leigh Truex. After gifting her homemade dill pickles to relatives and friends, she was encouraged to produce her dill pickles commercially. Truex’s dill pickle operation was a roaring, aesthetic success but financially struggled.
“Kathy and I met while we were working at the bank,” says John Gray, “and as we both got to know each other, we realized that we had the same dream—to be in business for ourselves and to bring a truly great product to market.”
When the Grays purchased the company in 1989, Bubbies only sold dill pickles in a few local stores and was not a recognizable brand. Then, Kathy and John were introduced through a mutual friend to a Harvard strategy guru who asked them a question that changed everything: “Are you a manufacturer or are you selling something?”
Though Bubbies’ recipe is a closely guarded secret, “if we don’t get it onto the shelves, make sure the brand is recognized, desired, asked-for, bought by the consumer and then bought again after the consumer tried them the first time—everything else was all for naught,” relates John.
The Grays knew they needed to find someone to be the face of the company. “We spent months looking all over for the perfect Bubbie, then one day I looked up on our living room mantel and there she was. Everyone we showed the photo to said, ‘That’s it! That’s her!’” says Kathy.
Although naturally fermented dill pickles continue as the Bubbies flagship product, the line has expanded over the years to include bread and butter pickles, pickled green tomatoes, naturally fermented dill relish, naturally fermented sauerkraut, two kinds of horseradish, spicy pickles and sauerkraut, and pickled Herring. All are made with the same deliberate Old World methods, using only natural ingredients and emphasizing a zesty taste.
The company has grown from a small distribution base in Northern California to an international marketer with products on shelves from coast to coast and in Canada. Bubbies continues to be privately held.
In The NewsBubbies Fine Foods has received some fantastic brand recognition from celebrities like Hayden Panettiere and Mila Kunis!
Bubbies also sponsors fermentation festivals and their very own web series about food alchemy, called Spoiled To Perfection.