Hankering for a delicious locally-made pickle? Do you feel that the terrific pickles that are available only once a year at the Rosendale Pickle Fest should be a year-round treat? Matt “The Pickle Guy” Gleason has your ticket to ride.
Gleason, a local resident, has just opened Brine Barrel Pickle Company at 237 Partition Street, and while it’s located in the no-man’s land between the Diamond Mills hotel and the main business section of Partition Street, it’s well worth the hike down the hill to get there.
“Yeah, it’s a tough place to be,” Gleason admitted. The shop is surrounded by empty businesses and apartment buildings, “but the rent was right,” he says with a laugh.
Gleason has long been a pickle guy, selling his wares at various flea markets and festivals, including the aforementioned Rosendale Pickle Festival. The support he received for his multitude of pickle products at these venues gave him the confidence to open a place of business.
Aside from the rent, he chose Saugerties because he lives here and he’s noticed the infusion of new businesses on Partition Street and figured it was the place to be. He’s hedging his bets though. Gleason said he understands it might take some time for a business specializing in pickles, aged cheeses and meats to gather a following, so he’s not going to quit his day job just yet. He’ll continue running his cleaning businesses during the week and opening Brine Barrel on the weekends (Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
“I love pickles and I love the challenge of starting a new business, especially a one-of-a-kind business,” Gleason said of his venture into the land of dill, sweet, sour, and semi-sour pickles.
Most of his pickles are picked locally from area farmers. He can’t get them all locally because few farmers grow the right kind of cucumbers, so this spring he plans to meet with local vegetable farmers in the hopes of convincing them to grow those varieties or rent him some space on their land so he can grow them.
Gleason will also be carrying locally-made aged cheeses. He’s looking for local cheese makers who might be interested in selling their product at his shop.
He also bottles his own olives, and makes pickled tomatoes and peppers as well.
“My ultimate goal,” he said, “ is to eventually be open seven days a week and in a place that is big enough to have a commercial kitchen in the back.”
Until he gets there, he’ll continue renting a commercial kitchen in Orange County to do the pickling.
He’s already making friends. Gleason donated pickles to Family of Woodstock and the Queens Galley in Woodstock for their Thanksgiving celebrations.
For more info contact Matt at 246-6015 or visit www.brinebarrel.com.