If you can track a “first step” as the transition point from a hobby to a business, FoodLab Detroit was Marcia’s Munchies “stepping stone.” Attending a seminar with a food inspector from MDARD, Devita Davison and Jess Daniels led a discussion about growing out of a cottage food business into making products out of a licensed kitchen. It was 2013 and really our portal into Detroit’s food business community.
Earlier this month, the account manager from a new distribution partner wrote us to say she attended a FoodLab event and the speaker, the arresting Devita Davison, gave us a shout out and featured on one of the slides. It made us look good 🙂
Thanks to our friends at OMA Comp, our new website is up and running! It has new product photos, testimonials store listings and recipes from our test kitchen!
Ordering pickles online has never been easier! For the next 30 days, use the code Website2018 for 10% discount on any online orders and have our award-winning pickles shipped directly to your door.
Last week we attended an annual event called Making It In Michigan, hosted by Michigan State University’s Product Center. They do a great job of bringing together key players in Michigan’s food manufacturing sector – from makers and brands (like us!) to packaging suppliers, contract manufacturers, retailers and distributors.
While we are learning to navigate the specialty food world, there’s a sense that traditional food and beverage distribution is also learning to adapt to the swift rise of the local food movement across the country and in Michigan. Social media, combined with a general pull toward artisanal / local / small batch has allowed for much of the growth in this space to happened in the direct-to-consumer arena, so naturally we are seeing more food distributors are getting on board with the local movement. This is our main angle when we’re pitching our products to regional food distributors.
This is a sample follow-up email I send to people I met at the show:
Hi Sam,This is Michal from Marcia’s Munchies. You sampled some of our products at yesterday’s show and I wanted to share more information with you.Marcia’s Pickled Munchies is an award-winning line of all-natural
pickled products made in Michigan.We hand-pack 5 all-natural pickles –
- Sweet N Sassy – bread & butter pickles*
- Little Hotties – spicy bread & butter pickles**
- Wild Dills – garlic and dill spear
- Cherry Pops – pickled cherry tomatoes**
- ‘Sparagus – spicy pickled asparagusOur products retail between $x.xx – $x.xx per jar.Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon.MichalThe Cherry Pops are also featured in the 2016 Saveur 100 from Saveur Magazine.
We walk a lot about the Good Food Awards. They are a celebration of delicious foods produced in sustainable and responsible ways. Nominees across multiple categories travel from around the country for this event and to partake in a fabulous weekend of positive food related activities. Marcia Nodel of Marcia’s Munchies addressed the winners of the pickle category winners at the 2016 Good Food Awards.
Watch the speech below or listen to it on Heritage Radio Network.
A pickled grape tomato, sweet with a slight bite, pops pleasantly in the mouth and is as perfect in your bloody mary as it is on its own as a snack. But where you see a tomato, Marcia Nodel, founder of Marcia’s Munchies, sees months of work perfecting a pickling process that involved consultation with Michigan State University, myriad recipes, and boatloads of tiny tomatoes. The problem was that, because of FDA regulations, the temperature to which pickles must be heated to be considered safe for commercial packaging can often wreak havoc on a small tender tomato, in a way that it won’t on a sturdy cucumber, carrot, or turnip. Nodel finally cracked the pickled tomato code (and no, she’s not breathing a word of her secret), and the resulting product hit store shelves in 2015. Marcia’s Pickled Munchies Cherry Pops, $10 at marciasmunchiesusa.com.
Welcome to the SAVEUR 100, our annual attempt to survey what’s happening in the world of food and drink and boil it all down—like a rich meaty sauce that gets headier and more deeply dazzling as it reduces to its essence—to the best of the best of right now. After much spirited discussion and some (mostly civil) internal debate, endless days of recipe-tinkering in the test kitchen, and nights of eating around, we’re pleased to share this year’s earnestly curated, highly subjective lineup of the top 100 (in no particular order) people, places, gadgets, tastes, and techniques that are inspiring and exciting us in and out of the kitchen. – Adam Sachs, Editor-in-Chief
This year’s SAVEUR 100 is a special limited-edition release. Find our print edition at booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and on select stands.
San Francisco, CA – The Good Foods Awards announced that the Michigan pickle company MARCIA’S MUNCHIES has won two awards in the pickle category for its Little Hotties spicy thinly sliced bread & butter pickles that come pickled with a habanero pepper, and Cherry Pops pickled baby tomatoes with rosemary and thyme.
The Good Food Awards is a prestigious craft food competition that recognizes “the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially responsible food crafters.” Winners were chosen from 1,937 entries in 13 categories. Winner were announced on Friday, January 15, 2016, at a sold-out gala Awards Ceremony at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, where medals were bestowed by renowned chef and activist Alice Waters and organics pioneer Nell Newman, tipping their hats to these exceptional food producers.
Marcia’s Munchies is a purveyor of all-natural pickle products that are crafted in Hamtramck, Michigan. “Pickled products are not just tasty… they’re good for you. Pickled, fermented foods play an important role in digestive health and well-being.” company founder, Marcia Nodel said in her acceptance speech in front of a the 800 person audience at the awards ceremony. “Pickled vegetables can be more nutritious than raw vegetables. It’s satisfying to know that our products were chosen for their taste but offer so much more.”
Marcia Nodel founded Marcia’s Munchies and began selling her pickles in to local metro Detroit stores in 2014. “At a time when others were settling down to retire, I did the opposite: I took my hobby and started a business.”
Marcia’s pickles are made with fresh, local produce and all-natural ingredients and are fat and gluten free. Drawing on food traditions that have been on the American table since the 1930s, Marcia’s offers classic treats in heirloom fashion. The company is founded on principals of all-natural eating. It aims for its products to be tasty, healthy snack options that are household staples. The 2016 award winning products along with other Marcia Munchies’ products are available in 16 ounce jars at selected stores throughout Michigan, including Busch’s, Whole Foods locations in metro Detroit, Plum Market, Market Square and Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor.
Standards for the Good Food Awards include environmentally sound agricultural practices, good animal husbandry, transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain. The Good Food Awards select the best of the best in beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, honey, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, and spirits, and can be a game changer to a growing purveyor. For more, visit goodfoodawards.org.
We are thrilled an honored to announce that for the second time, Marcia’s Munchies pickles have been selected as finalists for the 2016 Good Food Awards, the the prestigious craft food competition that recognizes “the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially responsible food crafters.”
The San Francisco-based Good Food Awards announced the finalists on November 5, 2015.
Both Marcia’s Little Hotties, the thinly sliced bread & butter pickles fermented with a habanero pepper, and Marcia’s Cherry Pops, pickled baby tomatoes are among other finalists in the Pickles category.
Finalists were chosen from 1,937 entries in 13 categories. These food producers represent the best of America’s growing talent and socially responsible food crafters.
Marcia’s Little Hotties are featured on the menu at Zingerman’s Deli. The new sandwich, # 216 Andy W.’s High Fryer, debuted as sandwich of month in May and reached record sales. It, along with Marcia’s company logo, was officially added to the menu in August.
Michigan is represented at the 2016 Good Food Awards by seven food artisans that scored in multiple categories from pickles to preserves.
Marcia’s Munchies, American Spoon, The Brinery, Swallowtail Farms, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Just Good Chocolate and Labrosee Farms are among the 263 finalists selected from across the United States.
The Good Food Awards celebrate tasty, authentic, healthy and responsibly produced foods. The winners will be announced Friday, January 15, 2016, at a gala Awards Ceremony at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, followed by two more days of celebration and trade events. Medals will be bestowed by renowned chef and activist Alice Waters and organics pioneer Nell Newman, tipping their hats to these exceptional food producers.
Standards for the Good Food Awards include environmentally sound agricultural practices, good animal husbandry, transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain.
For a complete list of finalists, visit goodfoodawards.org.
Mom’s a Genius: Empty nester takes pickle recipe and turns it into thriving business
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WXYZ) – After years in the kitchen cutting cucumbers for a pickle recipe adored by friends and family, Marcia Nodel found herself in quite a pickle.
“I raised my kids, they both went to school, graduated, married, and now what does mom do?” she says. “I don’t play cards, I don’t want to play cards.”
What she wanted to do was cook.
“So I decided to take what I know, what I love and see what I can do.”
From hobby to business
Her hobby was about to become a business. She started with her 35 year old sweet and sassy pickle recipe. That’s what she was making when we dropped by a small commercial kitchen in Hamtramck. The pickle process takes two days. First day, cutting the cucumbers and adding onions to each batch and then ice on top.
“The way I keep the pickles crisp, so they the crunch, is to let them sit on ice overnight,” she explains.
Day 2, the pickles are cooked, jarred and labeled.
In 2014 Marcia’s recipe won a prestigious Good Food Award out of San Francisco. Sales took off.
“After the Good Food Award, it took things to a whole different level. It opened doors, I got a distributor and I grew to five products.”
Her company, Marcia’s Pickled Munchies , now also includes a habanero version of her sweet and sassy recipe, called Little Hotties. She also makes Spicy Pickled ‘Sparagus, Wild Dills, and Cherry Pops, which are savory pickled tomatoes.
Asked if it was tough being an entrepreneur, she said this…
“It’s exciting! It’s exciting because it keeps growing.”
Her kids help with the business end of things these days. Marcia likes to focus on what she knows best… making great pickles.
“They’re very proud of mom,” she says.
Where to buy Marcia’s Pickled Munchies
You can find Marcia’s Pickled Munchies at area specialty stores, including some Plum Markets, Papa Joe’s, & Market Square locations. You can also find them at all Busch’s Markets and the Whole Foods Downtown. For a full list of stores where they’ll sold, click here. She also sells them on her website .
Last weekend we participated in the first ever Good Food Mercantile in NYC. We had a great time seeing new and old friends from the Good Food Merchants Guild and Good Food Award winners from all over the country. We were busy all day sampling our products for buyers from retailers and distribution companies, media, and other industry folks.
The organizers, The Seedling Project and hosts of The Good Food Awards called it “the un-trade show for tasty, authentic, responsible food” and what an event it was…
Hidden within an 1860s brick building under soaring Cathedral ceilings, 90 crafters and 350 retailers came together on June 27 to share heavenly bites, hugs and a whole bunch of commerce and community at the first Good Food Mercantile NYC. The gathering took place on a rainy summer Saturday in Pioneer Works, an art space in Brooklyn, and the venue was filled with good will as retailers and crafters shared in their passion for food that is both delicious and responsibly produced.
From producers like 1732 Meats, who w ere just getting started, to good food veterans, like Cowgirl Creamery and La Quercia, no crafter lacked for exposure to like-minded retailers, media, and even fellow producers eager to engage with others equally enthusiastic about their chosen craft.
“Some of the greatest moments were the spontaneous ones, like tabling next to the guys from Purely Syrup and immediately improvising a cocktail option with Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin and their lemonade,” says Sivan Cotel of Stonecutter Spirits, whose very first batch of crisp Vermont-made gin debuted at the Mercantile.
In a weekend that is already crammed with industry events like the Summer Fancy Food Show and the Cheesemonger Invitational, it was the phenomenal producers who took part that have ensured the Good Food Mercantile has found a special place in the calendars and hearts of the country’s best retailers. “I love being able to attend the Good Food Mercantile, as it brings together the highest concentration of the highest quality vendors in one place,” says Harry Rosenblum, co-owner of The Brooklyn Kitchen and founding member of the Good Food Retailers Collaborative.
Photo Credit: Mark Weinberg
There is a good chance you’ve at least heard of Zingerman’s, a gourmet food business based in Ann Arbor, Michigan that started out as a small deli in 1982 serving sandwiches that have reached cult-like adoration.
In 2014, though the Good Food Awards and with a little bit of good fortune, Marcia’s pickles received a coveted shelf spot on the deli grocery shelves.
We’ve had so much fun doing demos at Zingerman’s. Lunch hour there is a blast, with an endless line of people wrapped out the door and around the corner and friendly staff welcoming diners with an array of samples, like an assembly line of Jewish mothers.
This month we are proud to make it a step further into the deli – onto a sandwich! Marcia’s Little Hotties are being served on Andy W’s High Fryer, a boneless Miller’s Amish chicken thigh with a thick and crispy coating, piled high with spicy pickles, Zingerman’s pimento cheese and lettuce. It’s made magical with buttery Bakehouse white bread. This sandwich packs a crunchy punch (you’re welcome!, said the Little Hotties).
Katy Chang, owner of Baba’s Cooking School and purveyor of the award-winning Lala Sauce, spoke on behalf of the Pickles category winners at the Good Foods Award Ceremony, January 16 2014 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
We loved what she had to say and wanted to share parts of the speech. The original post and speech in its entirety can be found at http://eatsplace.com/text-of-good-food-awards-speech/. You can also watch the video: Good Food Awards Ceremony 2014
You can taste our stories and histories through our food. Like many of us here, my work is inspired by my family. My baba – which means dad in Mandarin – was a chef and is the baba behind Baba’s Cooking School. His traditional black bean sauce was the inspiration for my Lala Sauce.
I’m from Washington DC, like my fellow winner, Gordy’s Pickle Jar. Just like I collect stories from my baba, others from all over this great country are avid collectors too. We gather backgrounds and tastes from all around the world and percolate it through our own vast experience and that tells our story. We collect from each other through classes like those offered by Firefly Kitchens. We collect from the wild, like Wine Forest, foraging from the sea. We also collect from the farmers that have an abundance of good things after the harvest, like Two Chicks Farm, preserving the bounty of their harvest.
What we amass, we bring home to share with family and friends. Be it wild fermentations, the mother starter, or baba’s wisdom that gets passed down from generation to generation, we collect and disseminate. By sharing, we connect our experiences and grow our community.
No matter how we do it, we always start from the ground up. We start from our culture, and the things that are carried through from generations. But we put our own stamp on it while honoring the past, like Marcia’s Munchies. And as picklers we often do it more literally through live, probiotic bacterial cultures. Both types of culture embody things grown and nurtured. The differences and diversity are our strength and beauty.
This is the paradox of food. We embrace many traditions and civilizations while remaining rooted to our time (seasonal) and place (local) like Jarred SF Brine, Rick’s Picks, and Pogue Mahone Pickles. Pickling can be considered the ultimate time travel machine. Makers such as the Brinery and Happy Pantry preserve so can look back and yet move forward with living cultures.
Sustainability speaks not just of culinary stability but also of economic growth. The SouthPort Grocery recognizes this. Confituras is preserving the local history of canning through community involvement. Oly Kraut and others know that contributing to the food system is a direct way to bolster to our communities. In addition to Lala sauce and dumplings, we at Baba’s Cooking School are starting-up a brick-and-mortar food and restaurant incubator in Washington DC to help chefs and food makers cut through the red tape so they can focus on what they do best: make tasty food.
The Baba’s Cooking School building was built 1919 and later abandoned. We’re taking what once was a vacant building, transforming the blight into a business, and helping to remove barriers of entry to those who want to share and sell food. We’re transforming a dump into dumplings.
As I blog my journey of opening Baba’s, I document and share our growth so readers can understand the passion and energy that goes into each and every item made for them. All of that culinary drama — they don’t call it being in a pickle or in a jam for nothing.
Eaters and makers, through this journey we discover our story, rewrite our story and cook and eat our way through it. Thank you to the Good Food Awards and the Seedling Projects, Sarah (Weiner), Alice (Waters), Ruth (Reichel), and everyone involved in this wonderful celebration of food.