Bob's Pickle Pops are now on Amazon and in Walmart. In fact, Walmart approached the company about buying the product, something that almost never happens.
"We had tried to get in with Walmart a year before that, and we just weren't on anybody's radar at the time," Howard says with a smile, adding that they'd originally bought jars of pickles for juicing at Sam's Club.
Now Bob's Pickle Pops hopes to go national by targeting athletes, especially cyclists. It's expanded by adding flavors like lemon and lime to the juice ("grape and pickle juice don't go very well together"). It's also selling premium juice called Bob's Picklebacks for cocktails, capitalizing on a new trend of chasing a shot of Jameson with a shot of pickle juice.
Howard says drinking pickle juice is more popular than a lot of people realize. "Probably 50, 60 percent of every person I've talked to about pickle juice will admit they drank it out of the jar as a kid."
The company is popping out millions of pickle packets a year, and Howard's stress level is now cool as a cucumber, but he does miss the old days.
"Probably the funniest story was the very first time we ran product in a machine to put (juice) in a package. We had to supply juice for 150,000 units," he says.
"We worked days and days and days to get enough pickle juice to drive all the way up from San Antonio to Dallas in the back of a trailer for the packaging process."
It was the trip from hell. "The lids were falling off the containers, the tires went flat on the way up, there were just so many problems," he says, "but it was fun, because it was just us and all the family."
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