If you’re hunting for the perfect pickle, look no further than the rows of Epic Pickles lined up on the farmstand shelves. Ranging from the classic Kosher Pickle to Spicy Carrots and Cauliflower, a jar is hard to resist. With a bold name like Epic Pickles, we’re here to confirm the product lives up to the hype. Rob Seufert, owner, recently answered some questions from Fair Food about the origins of his business and realities of a Philly food artisan. Want to ask Rob some of your own questions? Find Epic Pickles April 8th at Philly Farm and Food Fest in the PA Convention Center (tickets can be purchased here).
Fair Food: When did you start your business, and what got you into this kind of work?
Rob Seufert: I started Epic in 2011. After trying some flavored pickles for the first time I thought I’d try making some for myself. Little did I know where it would go!
FF: From where do you source the ingredients for your products?
RS: I use local wholesalers/distributors to acquire all my ingredients. And fortunately when they can acquire locally, they do too.
FF: How would you characterize your business philosophy?
RS: Do it fresh. Do it right. Make it Epic!
FF: What does sustainable agriculture mean to you, and how does it apply to your business/products?
RS: Anything we can do to make a better product while being conscious to our ecosystem, I’m all for it. And whether it’s dry spices or fresh produce we get for each batch, it makes a difference.
FF: Do you have a favorite product to make? If so, why?
RS: Not sure I have a favorite to make, but the trial-and-error of creating a new product is probably most fun. Invention even in its simplest form can be very exciting.
FF: Why did you choose to build your business in the Greater Philadelphia region?
RS: I think the location chose Epic. When the idea of making pickles first came to mind, I thought of all the great farmers and markets in the region. It’s where I sourced my first test batches!
FF: Is there anything you wish you had known before you started your business? What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
RS: Where do I start? Every day is a new challenge, just take it one step at a time. And do your research!
FF: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a food artisan?
RS: As a food artisan it has to be how to sell or market your product. Most of us are small businesses that need to rely on grass roots efforts to get the word out—not just social media. It can be difficult.
FF: What are some of the greatest rewards?
RS: The greatest rewards are hearing the praise and seeing the smiles on customers’ faces—it’s a great feeling!
FF: Are there any goals you hope to accomplish or milestones you hope to reach for your business in 2017?
RS: We’ve been very blessed with word-of-mouth growth these past few years, but that only goes so far. So we’re looking at new distribution networks to get the Epic word out! Onward and upward!!