"I would spend my summers in Boston with my grandfather. He worked in the restaurant trade; in the deli trade. So he was constantly making pickles and pickled things and pickled this and that." Jerry Mitchell's recipes, brined with family history, are now part of Reno's resurgence. "One morning I woke up and I said, 'You know what? I will regret this if I don't do this.' I'm a foodie, I love Reno and I love the scene down here and I want to be a part of it!” So he introduced The Mitchell Pickle to Midtown where some businesses are even donating after-hour kitchen space.
The landscaper by day studied horticulture at the University of Nevada, where he also played quarterback, and now has a game plan to grow his hobby. It's taking off. "I was hoping to sell a few thousand this year and what we're finding is we have a following of people who like fresh, healthy, pickled vegetables." In four months, he's already sold 2,000 jars! He says he’s selling locally grown veggies that are organic and fresh and already a fan favorite for foodies partial to pickles. "Because we don't heat treat anything and it all stays fresh.” The Mitchell Pickle is in high demand at farmers markets, like the one at the Sands Hotel every Thursday and the Village Farmers Market by Reno High School Saturday mornings where he also sells cauliflower, asparagus and green beans.
"And we're just committed to not going corporate and just keeping it Reno." Not just for profit, but for a purpose.
Jerry and his daughters lost a special person three years ago. His wife fought cancer hard until the end. "It's very difficult. Anybody who's lost someone they love, it's a very difficult thing." Over time, however, he's chosen not to be a victim. He says it's how you react to life's trials that determine what you're made of. So, he's turned his hobby into a way of helping others, which he shares on the back of every jar. "We're taking the proceeds and we're giving it to women and children battling cancer in our community."
It's a labor of love infused with Jerry's passion to help and he is hopeful his recipe will resonate in Reno. "This is something I want to give the community, benefit the community. We want it to be the community's pickle."
Jerry's also inviting you to enter your best pickle recipe in a friendly competition on The Mitchell Pickle Facebook page. Winning recipes will be made in small batches for Reno to taste. The Mitchell Pickle Packing Company is selling goods at a variety of locally-owned shops in Midtown. For the complete list, log onto https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Mitchell-Pickle/1577249632549533