'We're not going to let Newfoundlanders down': local pickle maker combats mustard mayhem
Newfoundland Jam and Pickle Factory Inc. comes to the rescue after Sunday dinner staple is discontinued
Business is booming for Berkley Bursey.
The owner of Newfoundland Jam and Pickle Factory says he's profiting from the pickle Smucker Foods of Canada put the province in the last week.
- Get 'em while you can: Shoppers snap up last batch of mustard pickles
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"Hectic is one word," he said. "People just keep phoning for that mustard pickle."
Smucker's, the owner of Zest and Habitant, said Friday both brands would no longer be producing mustard pickles.
This was tragic news for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but it also has orders up — way up — for Bursey's product.
"I've got more [orders], I'd say about one and a half times as much, on my desk now as I had all last year," said Bursey.
Newfoundland Jam and Pickle Factory is based in Perry's Cove in the Conception Bay North area. The business was started in 1999, and Bursey said it has never been so busy.
"Right now we're looking at putting on a double shift," said Bursey "I'm hoping that within the next couple months there will be five more kitchens going up as well as a warehouse."
I've got more [orders] … on my desk now as I had all last year.- Berkley Bursey
The company currently produces homestyle beets and three varieties of pickles, and Bursey said there are no plans to discontinue mustard pickles.
"We're not going to let Newfoundlanders down."
Before Friday, jars were available in smaller grocery and convenience store chains, but Bursey said there are now larger distributors getting in touch.
"Phones have been ringing off the hook, everywhere from Kelowna, B.C., to Halifax, Labrador City. Even down in Georgia," he said.
"It's been quite a ride for the last week."
'Response has just been crazy'
Powell's Supermarkets, which has locations in Bay Roberts, Carbonear and Harbour Grace, also decided to capitalize on the social media "fire storm" after the discontinuation of Zest and Habitant mustard pickles.
Mitch Colbourne, the chain's public relations and marketing co-ordinator, saved the company's last bottle of Zest mustard pickles for a Facebook contest.
"The idea was, comment on the photo about who you would like to share this last bottle with," he said.
"The response has just been crazy."
The post has more than 800 comments and has been seen by at least 40,000 people. The winner will be drawn at random on March 12th.
Smucker Foods of Canada also owns the pickle company Bick's.
In a statement, the company said Bick's will be updating its sweet mustard pickle recipe to offer customers a comparable product. Those jars are expected to hit shelves in June.
Official word from <a href="https://twitter.com/smuckers">@smuckers</a>: Zest and Habitant are out. Bick's will now be their only sweet mustard pickle brand. <a href="https://t.co/Ikpp2drIKc">pic.twitter.com/Ikpp2drIKc</a>—@KatieBreenNL
With files from Jeremy Eaton