ST. LOUIS — Pearlie’s Pickles is making its mark in St. Louis. The family-owned and operated business in Baden is bringing it’s popular addition to sandwiches and hamburgers to the forefront.
For years to come, Bailey wants Ms. Pearlie’s Pickles to be a place where you know you can get support. “ A prayer and a pickle,” she said.
Pearlie’s Pickles has 50 flavors of sweetness and spice—Candy apple, Spicey Blue Raspberry, Pineapple, and Strawberry are just a few of the flavors on the menu.
“You can eat them right out of the jar, just like a bag of chips,” said Nicole Bailey, owner of the famous pickles.
The former cosmetologist of 25 years decided it was time for a career change, and she wanted to create a legacy she could pass down to her four daughters. Her goal is to create generational wealth and she launched the business that is named for her grandmother.
The larger-than-life matriarch in Bailey’s family taught Nicole how to cook, season, and can pickles.
She experimented with flavors including Jolly Rancher and Tropical Punch, which Bailey admits wasn’t the best idea. However, she finally discovered her base, and then added flavors including Spicy Watermelon and Spicy Pineapple.
With a chuckle, Bailey said, “We have all flavors for all neighbors.”
And neighbors in the St. Louis region can find her pickles at Schnucks, Dierbergs, and at High-Vee grocery stores in other parts of the state. She works through their respective diversity initiatives supporting minority and women-owned local businesses.
Pearlie’s Pickles has a permanent spot at Schnucks in their pickle aisle, and “Now my pickles are next to products I grew up loving,” said Bailey.
She threw her hands in the air and said, “Ms. Pearlie’s up in the house now.”
“I feel very blessed, I’m so grateful that the community saw fit to support me,” said Bailey.
Bailey got her start in 2012 selling her pickles at local flea markets and Soulard Farmers Market. To expand her business she invested in a property where her manufacturing shop is now housed. Bailey sells her pickles there and houses other local products such as Ghetto Sauce. Pearlie’s Pickles reminds you of the corner store back in the day. You’ll find penny candy, chips, Vess Sodas, and gifts for the holidays made by her godmother.
“We want to have everything that’s St. Louis in here,” said Bailey. “This is a place for the community.”
Pearlie’s Pickles is a labor of love, with help from family and friends Bailey said she wouldn’t be this far without them. They volunteered their time helping with cooking the pickles, seasoning them, and adding labels to the jars.
“When you invest in people there will always be a return,” said Bailey.
Even though she couldn’t afford to pay them then, they believed in her vision.
This summer, Bailey will be adding Pearlie’s Polish sausage and hot dogs to her menu along with ice cream, jelly beans, and peanuts. Once her backyard is renovated, Bailey plans to host community events for the youth in and near the Baden community.
She is in touch with the needs of the neighborhoods, and understands some of the struggles many face. She’s a single mom, she was a teen mom, and she didn’t complete high school. However, she is determined to help the younger generation so they won’t have to experience some of the hardships she did.
“I think God wanted me to be here,” said Bailey.
For years to come, Bailey wants Ms. Pearlie’s Pickles to be a place where you know you can get support.
“A prayer and a pickle,” she said.
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