Grillo’s Pickles: The first feature in our ongoing series showcasing American DIY’ers who have made a name for themselves in the business world.
Grillo’s Pickles is a Boston based company specializing in crafting, (in our opinion), the best damn pickles America has to offer. Using his grandfather’s secret recipe Grillo’s Pickles founder Travis Grillo has been crushing the pickle the game in the Northeast. Whole Foods, independent organic grocers, hotels, restaurants.. there is really no section of the food industry in the New England that hasn’t been infiltrated with the crisp delicious taste of Grillo’s dill + hot pickles. You can often find the Grillo’s pickle cart stationed in various places throughout the greater Boston area with a line around the block.
We sat down with Travis Grillo (aka T-Grillz as I call him) to answer some questions about his business and how he got started.
Travis Grillo – Founder + CEO (on right) at the Pabst Purple Pickle Party
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Travis Grillo. I am the owner of Grillo’s Pickles. Grillo’s Pickles was started in 2008 in Norwich, CT. In 2009, I moved Grillo’s Pickles and opened the original pickle cart in downtown Boston Commons with the help of many friends and family. It was a huge success that landed me in Whole Foods Market and other fine grocers. As of today, I am still selling some of the worlds best pickles made from all fresh and natural produce and spring water.
When did you start Grillos Pickles and why?
I started Grillo’s Pickles when I did not get a job in a corporate position at Nike, Inc. I was flown to Portland, OR and had several interviews. I thought my career was started but little did I know I was not hired. On that same day, I was sitting in my father’s backyard enjoying some pickles that our family had made for decades. I thought to myself, why is there no good fresh pickles available in stores. That day, I decided that I was going to work for myself and start selling these pickles to anyone that would eat them and appreciate a real family recipe. Using my own money and hard work, I started selling pickles from my 1985 Old Cutlass car.
Delicious Grillo’s Pickles
Weirdest on-the-job story?
The strangest story from on the job was when I wore a pickle suit for three months in downtown Boston. I was there rain or shine, non-stop promoting Grillo’s Pickles the first year and making a name for the pickle vending cart. I think that itself is weird. Brand marketing for Grillo’s Pickles and just getting the pickle out there to have a better pickle in this world. And now owning a pickle company is entertaining and rewarding but fun.
Dude In Pickle Suit
What’s your favorite bar in the Boston area and why?
For Boston bars, if you don’t have cognac I won’t be showing up. But I love a tallboy PBR.
Any shout outs?
Shoutouts to my friends and family, especially the Boston lock crew and Katsiroubas Brothers. To all my fans and followers, thanks for the support. We taking over one pickle spear at a time.
For more info, please visit www.grillospickles.com
[all photos are from the PBR x Grillo’s Pickles, Dipset Fueled, PURPLE PICKLE PARTY – held at the Model Cafe in Allston, MA 4/20/10]