Becoming her own boss: Pickle Licious started after one woman left her waitressing job
Robyn Samra spent years working as a waitress, a hostess, and a bartender.
At the age of 30, she finally grew sick of working for others, and realized she wanted to become her own boss. That’s how she founded Pickle Licious in 1993, selling kosher New York style pickles, pickle condiments, olives, relished and tapenades.
“I was young and nothing was stopping me,” Robyn said. “I was just going out there and giving it a shot.”
Her venture started out at Meadowlands Flea Market, where she sold her pickles, and quickly realized they were a hit. Today, she has a retail store in Teaneck, wholesale online, and an appearance at markets all throughout New Jersey, including Asbury Fresh.
Pickle Licious has become a family run business with the help of her husband Ray and two daughters Alex, and Taylor.
“(My mom) didn’t want to work for anyone else so that’s how she came up with the idea,” Alex said. “She wanted to create something for herself and her family. She wanted to have something we can hand off as our own.”
Alex, 27, said she’s been helping her mother out at markets for the last 10 years, but she just started full-time in 2015.
Their pickles all start out as cucumbers that are locally sourced. The pickles are then made with all natural ingredients, and are non-GMO friendly. They have a warehouse in Bogota, where the pickles are barreled.
Flavors include their full sour pickles with a tangy, saltier garlic taste, which are popular among the north Jersey and New York crowd, Robyn said. They’re barreled for three months, making them softer. Their half sour pickles, Robyn said are more popular among south Jersey folks and the Asbury Park crowd. They are greener with a crunchy bite to it — much like a cucumber.
“Asbury is one of our top markets. We went there a couple of years ago wondering if it was going to be a hit,” Robyn said. “It was definitely a hit. It’s a very hip area. They love the pickles and it just works.”
Alex said some of her favorite Pickle Licious products are the sweet horseradish pickle chips — a sweet, sour and crisp pickle with a horseradish finish.
“Every day is different,” Alex said. “It’s something we all grew up doing. We get to learn a little bit of everything.”