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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pimped Out Pickles, Home of the "Haterade" and "Pimpjuice" Pickle, Open for Business

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge All hail, Big Pimp Pickle. | Jessica Lussenhop
  • All hail, Big Pimp Pickle. | Jessica Lussenhop

Update: We finally connected with the brains behind the business, owner Michelle Latchison Turner. Updated with the story behind the pickles and how she came up with the name.

As soon as Gut Check heard news that a business called Pimped Out Pickles (4259 Martin Luther King Drive, 314-401-1807) just opened its first brick-and-mortar store two weeks ago, we grabbed our coat and ran out the door.

There inside the tiny storefront we met Finess and Bart Latchison, two brothers who run the business with their mom, Michelle Turner.

"She started selling them, and it really took off to the point where she could really be doing something with it," says Finess. "I never would have guessed there's so many pickle lovers."

See also: Strange Donuts Announces Plans for Second Location

click to enlarge Finess and Bart Latchison in front of Pimped Out Pickles. | Jessica Lussenhop
  • Finess and Bart Latchison in front of Pimped Out Pickles. | Jessica Lussenhop

Finess says his mom started the business about a year ago. She set up a vendor's booth outside of the ALDI on the corner of North Grand Boulevard and Natural Bridge Avenue, and soon the Latchisons were being asked to come to block parties, job fairs, colleges -- even weddings. Two weeks ago, Pimped Out Pickles opened its doors, and Finess says they're slowly trying to encourage their regulars at ALDI to come to the shop instead.

"It kind of got a nice little following," he says.

Update: Before she got into the pickle business, Michelle ran a childcare center which she says was slowly losing business.

"Honestly, I began to pray, 'Lord just make provisions for me, so I can be able to live -- a place to stay and pay my mortgage,'" she recalls. "I just came up with the idea. I love pickles. I decided, 'I'm going to try to see if other people love them the way I do.'"

click to enlarge The pickles. | Jessica Lussenhop
  • The pickles. | Jessica Lussenhop

Michelle says she remembered "back in the day" when people used to flavor jars of pickles by dropping peppermints and Red Hots into the jars. She already made her own fruit-flavored pickles at home and figured she could produce a whole line. All she needed was a name. And it had to pop. She says the name was inspired by the TV series Pimp My Ride -- this would be like pimping out pickles.

"I won't ever sell just a regular pickle," she promises.

Michelle clearly has good marketing skills. The Latchisons' pickles are branded...memorably. There's the "Haterade," the "All Pimped Out," the "Flava Flav" and the "Oops, There It Is!" Finess says each of them have a signature pickle recipe they came up with themselves -- his is the "Sex On the Beach," a tropical-flavored pickle made with coconut and peach flavoring. Turner and her sons invented all the varieties, which include special seasonals.

Here's the full menu:

  • All Pimped Out!
  • Sweet-n-Spicy
  • Sweet-n-Sour
  • Volcano
  • Red Hots
  • Hot Peppermint
  • Peppermint
  • Tropical Punch
  • Hot Tropical Punch
  • Flava-Flav
  • Big Poppa
  • Pick-a-Low
  • Sweet Garlic
  • Hot Sweet Garlic
  • Hottie
  • Hot Sweet-n-Sour
  • "Ole" School
  • Lemon
  • Strawberry
  • Bet-U-Like
  • Ooh La La
  • This Right Here!
  • Magic Touch
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Haterade
  • Sweetness
  • Oops, There It Is!
  • Orange Limeade
  • Cherry Limeade
  • Pick-O-Licious
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Sex On the Beach
  • Pimp-Juice
  • Peach Me
  • I-Candy
  • Sugar Momma
  • Blue Raspberry Jolly Rancher
  • Green Apple Jolly Rancher
  • Watermelon Jolly Rancher
  • Cherry Jolly Rancher
  • Grape Jolly Rancher
  • Mixed Jolly Rancher
  • HO! HO! HO! (Christmas)
  • Sweet Heart (Valentines Day)
  • Happy Easter (Easter)
  • BAM!! (Independence Day)
  • Trick-r-Treat (Halloween)
  • Salute (Veterans Day)
  • Thankfulness (Thanksgiving)

click to enlarge Pick your pickle poison. | Jessica Lussenhop
  • Pick your pickle poison. | Jessica Lussenhop

More photos after the jump. And also: what does a "Pimpjuice" pickle taste like, exactly?

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