'McVicker Pickles' Crowdfunding To Launch Bloody Mary Mix

McVicker Pickles owner Kelly McVicker recently launched an online campaign to obtain a $10,000 loan for her Bloody Mary mix, which uses pickle juice as a key ingredient.

Her family on both sides has a background in farming, which is where she learned pickling. "I founded McVicker Pickles with a goal of bringing the pickling and preservation traditions I grew up with in Kansas to the San Francisco Bay Area," she notes in her campaign.

Today, she's a certified Master Food Preserver.

In her first year, McVicker met bartender Gillian Fitzgerald while doing a pop-up. The duo began collaborating on recipes, creating their Proud Mary Bloody Mary Mix recipe.

"Even though we were busy, we saw an opportunity to develop our Bloody Mary mix together," she wrote.

So far, the campaign is 33 percent funded, with a little more than three weeks left.

"Gillian and I both liked the idea of a loan vs. a donation because it represents a true investment in our business," McVicker said via email. "[W]e have had such an enthusiastic response to Proud Mary since we started selling it, which gives us complete confidence in our ability to repay the loan."

She hopes to be able to significantly increase production and lower their price by working with a local bottler to produce 300 cases. Earlier this year, she worked with a designer to create a new brand design.

I haz picklez. Come find me at the @sfmade holiday show today til 5!

A post shared by McVicker Pickles (@mcvickerpickles) on

"Besides being a locally manufactured product from a woman-owned business, what makes Proud Mary special is the simple fact that it tastes so damn good," McVicker explains. "We felt that it’s a pain to have to open seven jars in your pantry to make a good Bloody Mary."

In 2015, she told us that she has lived in the Lower Haight for ten years and she started her business McVicker Pickles in 2012. 

"It's kind of a hybrid of education, and instruction on how to ferment, make pickles, make jams, just all different food preservation related topics," she said, adding that she also makes products, sells them and teaches classes from her home kitchen.

McVicker, still a Lower Haight resident, said their shared production kitchen space is in the Bayview, while Fitzgerald lives in the Upper Haight.

Kelly McVicker. | Photo: McVicker Pickles/Yelp

"Going for this Kiva loan is a step that we have been building up to for the last six to nine months," McVicker said. "After two years of making every jar ourselves and always being just enough behind the demand that we can’t really seek out new accounts, we are ready to get some help so we can grow."

McVicker plans to use $7,000 of the loan for the first production run, $2,000 for labels and marketing materials, as well as $1,000 for travel expenses to help secure new wholesale accounts. Repayments on the loan will be made monthly over a period of three years.

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Mcvicker pickles crowdfunding to launch bloody mary mix