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Pennsylvania

The Pickled Chef

About Documents
246%
$49,172.30 Funded
$20,000 Target
Closed Time Left
46 Investors
$20,000 Min. Raise
$68,000 Max. Raise
60 mo. Term Length
10.5% Interest Rate
Closed

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Introduction

The Pickled Chef is a local canning, preserving, and pickling company, family-owned by Chef Greg Andrews, his wife Ashlee Andrews, and Ashlee’s mom Deb Driggers. We produce a variety of all-natural, preservative-free, hand-canned, and hand-packed products. These “farm to jar” products utilize local and seasonal ingredients purchased from local area farmers and producers whenever possible.

In order to refinance high-interest debt and free up cash flow, we are looking to borrow up to $68,000 at an interest rate of 10.50% over a 60 month term. The campaign ends on June 19, 2020 at 11:59pm.

 

Some products from our fall collection.

 

The Project

We are going to pay off our credit card debt ($20,000- interest 29%) and Square loan ($9,000 - interest 19%)

Consolidating our credit card debt and Square loan, which was used to purchase jars, buy labels and pay fees for farmers markets and festivals last year, will help us to lower our monthly payments and create the cash flow that is important to our business right now.

We are at a critical time in our business in the fact that we are expanding into the wholesale market and need to produce more product in a short amount of time to fulfill the orders and getting our monthly payments lowered it will free up cash to purchase what we need for these orders and we are increasing our attendance at markets and festivals this year and need more cash for fees that are due all at the same time.

 

An assortment put together by one of our customers.

Business

About The Pickled Chef

Our products include classic bread & butter and sour dill pickles; whiskey and beer pickles; hot pepper pickles; mustard pickles; unique pickled vegetables such as green beans, radishes, ramps, beets, squash, okra, and kohlrabi; along with a variety of condiments, conserves, jams, sauces, dressings, pestos, ten varieties of fresh fermented sauerkrauts, and five different kim chi style items. Bloody Mary mix and Bloody Mary pickles are also being produced and are top sellers on their product line.

Currently, we are producing the products from an almost 3,000 sq. ft. facility in a shopping center in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. This former restaurant space is equipped with a complete inspected kitchen for product production, as well as space for our café which is open six days a week (days and hours of operation vary during farmers market and festival season from May through October). At the café, Chef Greg serves his popular grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade soups, fresh salads, and other menu items. Within the space there is retail space where we sell our products as well as several other locally-produced meats, cheeses, honey, maple syrups, soaps, and candles.

 

 

We have an up-to-date website, we regularly post on Facebook and Instagram, and we have an email list of over 3,000 who receive an eblast each week featuring new products, current menus and which farmers markets and festivals we’ll will be attending.

Besides social media and e-blasting, a major part of our marketing strategy includes attending farmers markets and festivals to create brand awareness. In 2020, we’ll be attending six farmers markets per week: five in Allegheny County and one in Westmoreland County. We will also participate in fourteen festivals, including May Marts, and specialty markets throughout both counties during the summer and fall season. We will also attend the New York City Bloody Mary Festival in Brooklyn, NY in April 2020, which has 1,600 pre-sale ticket sales. At festivals, our space includes jarred products as well as the grilled cheese sandwiches that are made with local cheese and bread, plus products from The Pickled Chef product line.

 

Chef Greg makes grilled cheeses using local ingredients and our Pickled Chef products.

 

We have been taking our products “on the road” since 2015. The markets and festivals are a very integral part of our business model which not only create brand awareness, but also enable us to connect with customers, provide samples of products, and get our product into the hands of thousands each year. Our slogan: “Once they try it, they buy it.”

The business demographics are multi-generational. With memories of their parents and grandparents canning almost everything from their backyard gardens, baby boomers are at times brought to tears after tasting Chef Greg’s products with flavors they thought were long-forgotten.

In addition, many of our regular customers are consistent farmers market attendees and are committed to buying all-natural, organic, preservative-free products; they realize how important it is to the local economy to support local farmers and producers. The millennial generation, who have become our largest target market, are very in-tune with current trends, and have no problem spending money on real, made-from-scratch, local food––especially the fermented foods which have become our biggest sellers.

We have been in operation since 2010. The business took on a different approach in 2014 by not just cooking food, but producing a product: one of the best of its kind on the regional market, and a brand that is widely recognized. Even though we have taken on many challenges in the ten years in business, we have always been on the cutting edge of food trends such as farm-to-table, pickling, farm dinners, and fermentation. Our family team works 24/7 to take our business to the next level by creating new products and developing fresh ideas, which have ultimately led to increased sales each year. We absolutely know that hard work pays off and we will continue to do whatever it takes to get our products to our loyal fans, in front of new customers, and in retail stores.

 

Our setup at one of our farrmers markets.

 

Past and Present

Originally, our LLC McAndrews Restaurant, Inc. owned and operated The Supper Club Restaurant at the historic Train Station in downtown Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Opened in 2010, The Supper Club focused on offering a hyper-local farm-to-table menu featuring produce, meats, dairy, honey, and other products from up to 30 local farmers, producers, and purveyors. Chef Greg met many of these farmers and producers at local farmers markets and regional events.

After a trip to Charleston, SC in 2013, Chef Greg was inspired to begin canning and preserving, enabling him to showcase the region’s own local produce in both delicious and beautiful jarred goods year-round. The entire team agreed that displaying the finished jars in The Supper Club’s gastropub would enhance the restaurant’s farm-to-table focus.

Each season, many of the loyal Supper Club guests who enjoyed their own planting and gardening would bring Chef Greg their extra harvest of produce. Unable to use the small amount of veggies on the 180-seat restaurant menu, Greg utilized the items for canning and preserving, gifting a jar of each item to the guests as a thank you. Once the guests began seeing and tasting these jarred products, they immediately wanted to purchase more: thus, The Pickled Chef name, logo, and brand was born.

 

The Pickled Chef logo.

 

Beginning with roughly a dozen pickled items, we took the show on the road for our first season at the Ligonier Country Market in May of 2014. Attending each Saturday morning for 20 weeks, Chef Greg’s products earned rave reviews from the 3000-5000 customers who attend each week, and The Pickled Chef quickly became one of the principal vendors of more than 100+ merchants.

Focusing on hand-packed and hand-preserved all-natural products, Chef Greg modernized traditional American heritage recipes, and we produced several thousand jars our first year. We focused primarily on dill pickles, bread & butter pickles, dilly beans, squash relish, smoked pickled okra, pickled red beets, pickled red radish, herb grain mustard, and tomato jam.

At Ligonier Country Market, we sampled all our products and received questions about how to utilize the sauces, jams, and condiments in food preparations. Customers were told, in particular, that the tomato jam goes well on a grilled cheese sandwich. Chef Greg experimented at The Supper Club with the tomato jam and created the Breakfast Style Grilled Cheese. The second season at Ligonier Market, we expanded our space and offered grilled cheese sandwiches using products from the condiment, jam, and sauce line. The grilled cheese sandwiches have been a great addition for us at farmers markets and festivals.

 

 

In 2016, we began to attend the East Liberty, Southside, Mt. Lebanon, and Market Square Farmers Markets in addition to the Ligonier Country Market.

In May of 2016, Chef Greg, Ashlee, their one year-old son August, and Deb moved to a 15 acre farm in Greensburg, which they entered into a lease-to-own contract. This 1860 farm’s beautiful agricultural setting has been the perfect setting for monthly farm dinners (May through October) that are attended by over 25 guests.

In January of 2017, we moved out of the Supper Club restaurant due to the fact that the train station building was sold to a private owner. We decided not to renew a lease with the new owners. After leaving The Supper Club, Chef Greg entered into a lease with the Diocese of Greensburg to utilize a kitchen at a neighborhood church about three miles from the farm so that he could produce products until we found another location.

In 2017, we acquired our first wholesale account after an owner of a farm market in Wexford saw the Bloody Mary Mix at the Market Square Farmers Market in downtown Pittsburgh and had to order it for in her store. Since that time, Shenot Farm Market has carried The Pickled Chef’s Bloody Mary Mix and over a dozen other items on a consistent basis.

 

Chef Greg at work.

 

In October of 2017, we entered into a five-year lease to rent a space in a shopping center in Latrobe. This space was a former restaurant so it was equipped with a full kitchen. We moved in some equipment from our former restaurant and renovated the space, and we were ready to open as The Pickled Chef Kitchen and Farmers Market in January of 2018. In addition to producing jarred products, we serve grilled cheese sandwiches, provide catering opportunities, and retail meats, cheeses, honey, maple syrup, candles, and soaps from other local producers and purveyors. On December 4, 2017, a few weeks before moving into the new space, Ashlee gave birth to their second child, Audra Lou Andrews.

The first year in the new space, business was steady. We continued to attend the Ligonier Country Market, the Market Square Market, I Made It Markets (Neighborhood Flea), and added the Bloomfield Winter Farmers Market. We also attended the Picklesburgh Festival in July, as well as Ft. Ligonier Days and Delmont Apple Festival in October. Farm dinners were held on Sunday evenings once a month and were very well attended.

 

Picklesburgh is one of the many festivals where we sell our products.

 

In 2019 the Charley Family Shop & Save stores in Greensburg approached us about carrying our products in three of their stores in Greensburg and Murrysville. In 2020 we expanded our wholesale footprint with products in six other stores, markets, and specialty shops.

In 2019, our business increased with producing 12,000 jars (a 37% increase over 2018) and making over 14,000 grilled cheese sandwiches (a 43% increase over 2018). In addition to operating the new space, we attended six weekly farmers markets, 14 food-centric regional festivals, with the largest being Picklesburgh – named that year as #1 Specialty Food Festival by USA Today.

Presently, in 2020, The Pickled Chef’s original product line has grown to more than three dozen items throughout the year including seven varieties of pickles, sauces, condiments, Bloody Mary Mix and the most recent bestselling line of raw-unprocessed fermented sauerkrauts and kim chis. As of the end of February, our products can now be found in Giant Eagle in Greensburg.

 

Check us out at Shop 'n Save and other stores!

 

The Future of The Pickled Chef

Our goal in 2020-2021 is to focus on our pickling, preserving, and fermenting production operations, and streamlining our energies­­––including our labor and operating income––to our most lucrative profit center. Our plan is to build a dedicated production facility and terminate our lease at the shopping center space.

Plans are to build-to-suite an existing building on our farm. This building will become our production facility. It will also include a kitchen area so we can continue to do the farm dinners and continue to make available food to our catering customers. We have designed a refrigeration/storage area for this building that would give us more space to store the fermented products, which is totally lacking in the current space. Moving out of the current space in Latrobe would allow us to maximize our attendance at farmers markets and allow us to concentrate on building our wholesale business rather than having a retail space. Currently we have fixed expenses at the farm, so this expansion would only increase our expenses by 25% and by ceasing operation at the Latrobe location, and by attending more markets and increasing wholesale we would increase revenues by 40% (similar to our growth from 2018 to 2019).

 

We plan to focus our attention to building out our farm and developing our retail program.

 

In moving our business to the farm, we will also be able to grow more of our products on our land. We grew a substantial and amount of herbs in 2019, which will expand this year, along with other products that we can't get from local farmers we work with now.

In 2020 we want to expand our footprint in Giant Eagle stores. There are five stores within a five mile radius in the Greensburg area that can carry our products. We are also talking with Sysco about our products being distributed in their network.

In an effort to expand the wholesale part of the business on a regional basis The Pickled Chef joined the RangeMe site in 2019. RangeMe is the leading online platform that streamlines product discovery, sampling, and sourcing between suppliers and retailers. We will continue to develop our presence on this site during 2020 and look for opportunities to get our products in front of larger retail food businesses.

In 2021, we will approach Market District about an idea we have for a ferment kiosk in their stores similar to other ready-to-eat foods they already feature.

A goal in 2021 would be to attend a large food show to get in front of larger food/grocery retailers.

In 2022 we would entertain the possibility of being a co-packer for some of the farmers we work with. We would work with Chatham College's Center for Regional Agriculture, Food and Transformation (CRAFT) to assist us to see if the pricing, structure, and revenues would ultimately be profitable for The Pickled Chef.

 

Putting together our taqueria-style jalapeño jars.

 

Fast Facts

  • Produced over 50,000 jars of product since starting in 2014, with 12,000 of those in 2019
  • Made over 50,000 grilled cheese sandwiches since 2015, with 14,000 in 2019
  • Best Booth winner at Ft. Ligonier Days in 2015, our first year of participation
  • Our Orange Whiskey Marmalade won Best of Show at the Westmoreland County Fair in 2017
  • Participated in the Picklesburgh Festival since its inception, which has been voted #1 Specialty Food Festival by USA Today two years in a row
  • Our Kim Chi grilled cheese sandwich was voted the #1 food by SendFoods on an online vlog on Thrillist
  • Second place in Pittsburgh Pierogie Festival in 2019 with our Pierogie Grilled Cheese sandwich.
  • Chef Greg was featured with his pickled garlic on Chris Fennimore’s cookbook and show WQED Cooks
  • Chef Greg won first place at Nemicolin's Chili Cookoff
  • Chef Greg has worked in 8 different states and on three different coasts

 

Our classic dill.

 

About the Owners

Deb

Deb has held management positions in private companies, non-profits, and presently as a small business owner.  Her marketing expertise includes strategic planning, customer segmentation, marketing communications, public relations, and creative and innovative programs. Deb’s main focus with The Pickled Chef is on marketing, sales, and business development.  She is energetic, positive, and passionate about The Pickled Chef’s products.   Her personal life includes spending endless time with her two grandchildren. In time away from the business, she loves gardening, reading, and working out.

Ashlee

Ashlee has exclusively worked in the food service industry in Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties, plus four years in New York City.  In 2007, at 25 years old, she purchased her first restaurant with her spouse and business partner, Chef Greg Andrews.  They have owned and operated two successful large scale, fine dining, farm-to-table restaurants in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  Ashlee managed the front of house specifically, spearheading the craft cocktail, beer, and wine programs, and managing the staff.   From 2012 to 2016 she co-owned and operated a corporate dining program managing food service for over 500 employees daily at the Elliott Company in Jeannette, Pennsylvania.  

From its inception, Ashlee has managed all aspects of The Pickled Chef including name creation, logo development and branding, website design and construction, product development, package design and writing social media content and execution.   Ashlee coordinates and works the farmers markets, festivals, and the day-to-day operations at the brick and mortar location. 

When not at work, Ashlee can be found on their family farm enjoying time with her two children, five year-old August and two yearoold Audra, along with their menagerie of barnyard beasts including Jack Russel terriers Winnie & Arnie, Nigerian dwarf goats Pearl and Peonie, mini pig Hamilton, and mini donkey Bobby Flay.  

Greg

Growing up outside Dallas, TX, Chef Greg began his culinary career at age 16 working in local restaurants before entering an apprenticeship program with Westin Hotels after high school graduation.  Staying with Westin and Sheraton Hotels for over 15 years, he had the opportunity to work in and run kitchens in Dallas, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, in addition to The Mauna Kea in Hawaii, The WDW Swan in Orlando,  and The Peabody Hotel in Memphis.  He made the move to independent restaurants in Pittsburgh as the Executive Chef at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto where he also met his wife Ashlee.  Moving to Manhattan, he became the Chef at Stout, a large Irish pub near Madison Square Garden.  Moving back to western PA, he and Ashlee became restaurant owners in Greensburg and Latrobe as well as running the food service for the Elliott Company in Jeannette. 

With Pickled Chef, he has been able to showcase his culinary skills and experiences working across the country by creating pickled and fermented vegetables, sauces, and condiments that reflect the diverse cuisines he has worked with.  Focusing exclusively on the Pickled Chef since 2017, he has been producing classic and timeless recipes, along with developing new items to keep customers returning.  He is excited to make The Pickled Chef the leader in Perfectly Preserved Farm Fresh Vegetables.

When he is not working, he spends joyful time with his two young children, August and Audra, and by working on the family farm, tending to the livestock and riding the tractor mowing the fields.  

 

The team behind The Pickled Chef includes Greg (L), Ashlee (C), Deb (R), along with Greg and Ashlee's two children August (L) and Audra (R).

Deal Summary

Deal Summary

Issuer

  McAndrews Restaurants Inc

Security Type

  Secured Loan

Loan Purpose

 Refinance of high interest debt

Offering Amount

  $20,000 - $68,000

Interest Rate

  10.50%

Payments

  Monthly, Disbursed to Investors Quarterly

Maturity

  60 mo.

Personal Guaranty  

 Debra Driggers, Ashlee Andrews, and Greg Andrews

Security Interest

 Blanket lien on assets of business

 

Your Earnings Potential

If you choose to invest, you will make a one-time investment via ACH that will be transferred to a secure escrow account. If the campaign successfully reaches its target, the funds will be distributed to McAndrews Restaurants Inc.

For more information on the mechanics of Honeycomb’s crowd investing platform, please review our Education Materials.

Investment Amount One-Time Fee Potential Quarterly Returns* Potential Total Repayment*
$100 $2.85 $6.44 $128.96
$500 $14.25 $32.24 $644.81
$1,000 $28.50 $64.48 $1,289.63
$5,000 $37.25 $322.40 $6,448.17

*Individual payments may vary slightly based on rounding. Potential repayments include principal and interest; they do not include the one-time fee which is assessed when you make your investment. These amounts are calculated as a fully amortizing loan, which means that principal and interest are paid down starting with the first payment. There are no prepayment penalties and McAndrews Restaurants Inc may pay down their loan early, which may impact your earnings potential. Please note, returns are not guaranteed and investors could lose some or all of their investment.

Your ongoing responsibilities from investing are very limited. Over the life of the loan, you will receive a yearly 1099-INT, which is a simple tax document similar to what you receive for most savings accounts.

McAndrews Restaurants Inc pays as agreed. You will receive quarterly payments directly into your bank account. In the event of a default, you will be contacted by the administrative agent to manage the collections process on the investors' behalf.

 

How Honeycomb is Compensated

Honeycomb charges McAndrews Restaurants Inc a $250 posting fee and a 7.0%-8.0% loan origination fee on the total amount funded.

Additionally, to cover expenses associated with each investment, Honeycomb charges a 2.85% investment fee capped at $37.25 per investor.

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