My name is Alan Kaufman and I have a gourmet Pickle Store on the Lower East Side. As far back as 1910 there have always been numerous pickle stores on Essex Street. Today we are the only pickle store that exists on Essex Street.
I make my pickles from an old Eastern European recipe “Just the way mom use to make them”. This is a barrel cured pickle. The pickles are made by letting them sit in salt brine with garlic, spices, and no preservatives. Storing them in barrels, from a day up to six months, the pickles cure as they sit. Along with pickles we brought back old traditional items such as Pickled Watermelon & Russell Borscht. Over the years we also added new items including Pickled Turnips and Pickled Pineapples. Two weeks before Passover we bring our operation outside and grind Horseradish from freshly peeled roots.
The pickling industry has changed from vendors with push carts to merchants in little stores and, finally, factories that manufacture pickles. The way we make these products here is just like the old days. We run a clean operation that is customer friendly and invite you to come on down and take a look and see for yourself.
We operate under the Rabbinical Supervision of RABBI SHMUEL FISHELI
Ever wonder about the "History of Pickles?"
We are committed to Lower East Side and its Jewish heritage. Here are some of the area's Historical Synagogues
Read an article entitled "Profile of a Pickle Guy" by local NYC writer Zina Saunders.
NEW YORK Magazine
May 12 - 19, 2003
THE PICKLE GUYS
49 ESSEX STREET
Alan Kaufman works some nine hours a day, six days a week, elbow-deep in pickle juice, and yet the 44-year-old owner of the Pickle Guys doesn't have a sour bone in his body. Even his staff, most of whom joined him when their former employer, Guss' Pickles, left Essex Street early last year, act as if life were a pickle party. The daily grind produces remarkably fresh stock, from new to fully soured, with that perfect snap and spray in every bite. Kaufman ran the show at Guss', but when the owners changed location, he go the feeling they'd lost interest in the business. Taking a space just down the block from the old store was a brilliant move. Tourists still flock there, and the line goes up the street, especially right before Passover, when the horseradish is freshly grated from morning till night - by an employee wearing a gas mask.
The VILLAGE VOICE
Pickle Guys on Essex St
by VOICE Staff
Summer in the Lower East Side would not be complete without the
redolent Essex Street breeze blowing briny pickle smells
all over the neighborhood. The Pickle Guys, a new operation
built on old and established traditions, aims to bring the
brimming barrels back to their historic home.
Alan Kaufman, a pickler who’s been working in the neighborhood since 1981, opened The Pickle Guys just after Memorial Day this year. Response has been very enthusiastic so far
Patrons can choose from huge variety of pickled vegetables and specialty items, Kaufman said. Pickle varieties include full sour, three-quarters sour, half sour, new, and hot. Pickled tomatoes, plum and cherry tomatoes, whole green olives, black olives, stuffed olives, mushrooms, pickled celery, hot peppers, sweet kraut, sauerkraut, Schwartz’s herring, sun-dried tomatoes, and many more products round out the selection. “It’s not just pickles anymore,” he said.
Kaufman has worked with some of pickledom’s legendary entrepreneurs, including Ben Guss (of Guss’ Pickles) and Natie Hollander. He uses the traditional pickling methods handed down over the last century, with no chemicals or preservatives added.
I get a big kick when people eat my stuff and say wow, this is good,” Kaufman said. “This is a really friendly place. We kid around with the customers and keep a happy atmosphere going. It’s not really like work, it’s more like a family business.”
The Pickle Guys is located at 49 Essex Street and operates under the strict Kosher supervision of Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis. All major credits are accepted, and the company ships nationwide. Call 1-888-4-PICKLE for more information.