A Match Made in Junk-Food Heaven; McClure's Pickles and Better Made's Potato Chips
Sometimes, a seemingly meaningless post on Twitter can be more significant than the author ever intended.
That is exactly what happened when Erin Rose, founder of Positive Detroit, tweeted that all she wanted was a jar of McClure's Pickles and a bag of Better Made potato chips. Heck, she said, they should just make McClure's-flavored Better Made potato chips.
As Joe McClure, co-founder of Troy-based McClure's Pickles put it, 'That piqued the interest of Better Made who contacted me about creating a line of McClure's flavored potato chips'.
The two companies have been meeting regularly over the last month to create the right spice mix and have even made several batches of prototype chips. (I tried the garlic-dill flavored chips and they were delicious.)
"The guys from Better Made came here and tried our pickles and chatted. They told me that this is the same way Sam Cipriano (founder of Better Made) started."
There is no set timetable as to when the chips will hit stores, if they ever do, but Mark Winkelman, president of Better Made, said he is excited about the possibility.
Joe McClure says the Pickelback, a chaser of pickle brine taken after a shot of Irish whiskey, started when a girl at a bar in Brooklyn asked for a shot of whiskey and some pickle juice. McClure said the bar had McClure's and served it.
But The New York Post says the shot was created by a bartender at the The Bushwick Club in Brooklyn.
According to legend, McClure's was using the basement of the bar as a storage area for its pickles and one of the bartenders chased a shot of whiskey with the pickle brine.
Whatever the case, McClure said he was contacted by a representative from Jameson Irish Whiskey who asked him to send some of the pickle brine to Ireland so its board of directors could try it.
"We sent them a case and got word back that they liked it. So we sent more. I don't know if they are just drinking it or what," McClure said.
Miami-based liquor distributor Southern Wine and Spirits bought 1,000 jars of McClure's pickle brine to test the Pickelback at Penn State.
Revenue has more than doubled for the company over the last year. In 2009, it generated revenue of about $500,000. Last year, it hit $1.1 million. McClure is expecting revenue to hit $1.75 in 2011.
"We have increased production by 30 percent from the end of summer," he said. "We were making between 60 and 70 cases of pickles a week, now we are making 100. That's like… 1,200-1,500 jars a day."