Fresh out of Cornell University’s master’s program in biomedical engineering, Tom Peter found himself jobless and broke. With the little money he did have, he decided to make homemade pickles for a friend’s birthday. “They weren’t very good,” Peter says.
Much research and dozens of recipes later, Crisp & Co. was born.
“Most people have a pretty narrow view of pickles,” Peter says. They’re often forgotten—a lone sliver abandoned on your lunch plate. Crisp & Co. pickles are different.
The company began modestly in 2012. Canning was done by hand in a small facility next to the Hockessin home of Peter’s parents, and the pickles were sold by word of mouth. “I didn’t go into it thinking pickling could be a business,” Peter says. But a year into Crisp & Co., Peter beat out veteran picklers at the 16th annual International Pickle Festival to win second place for his Sweet Ginger Pickles.
Peter’s pickles are catching on. Six of his pickled products, from classic dills to Pinot Noir beets, are sold in more than 20 states, mostly through specialty retailers such as Janssen’s in Greenville, McCabe’s Gourmet Market in Bethany and Newark Natural Foods.
Reinventing the pickle was just step one for Crisp & Co. The company is expanding to a much larger factory in New Jersey and adding new products: a pickled Bloody Mary mix and a fried ginger sauce. Look for them soon.