Real Pickles

Solar Powered Real Pickles Wins Two Good Food Awards

Real Pickles, a Greenfield, MA worker co-operative, won two Good Food Awards on January 17th for their Organic Beet Kvass and Organic Nettle Kraut.  Real Pickles co-owners Annie Winkler and Greg Nichols received the awards at a San Francisco gala hosted by renowned farm labor activist Dolores Huerta, food author Michael Pollan, and chef Alice Waters.  The Good Food Awards recognizes American food and drink crafters who demonstrate both a mastery of their craft and a commitment to maintaining exceptionally high social and environmental standards in their work. 

Staff at Real Pickles

A timely example of Real Pickles’ commitment to responsible food is their recent 31-kW solar array which, installed beside their existing 17-kW array, makes Real Pickles’ facility 100% solar powered. “Environmental sustainability and strong regional food systems are at the core of our mission,” says Dan Rosenberg, founder, and general manager. “We are always seeking ways to reduce our carbon emissions, increase our use of renewable energy, and support policies that push for climate mitigation.”

In operation since 2001, Real Pickles makes fermented dill pickles, sauerkraut, beets, kimchi, hot sauce, and other traditional pickled foods. The co-operative buys over 300,000 pounds of certified organic produce each year from Northeast family farms.  The winning products feature beets from Harlow Farm in Westminster, VT; cabbage from Atlas Farm in South Deerfield, MA; and fresh nettles from Sawmill Farm in Florence, MA, and Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, VT. 

“These awards highlight the reason we’re in business,” said Annie Winkler, production manager. “We are proud to contribute to a community that values a healthy and nourishing food system – for people, communities, and our planet.”

The Good Food Awards celebrated its tenth anniversary by announcing 219 winners in sixteen food categories who are fostering land stewardship, strengthening communities, and building soil health. 

The winners rose to the top in a blind tasting of 1,835 entries, then passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they meet Good Food Awards standards regarding ingredient sourcing and environmentally sound agricultural practices.

Real Pickles products are sold at over 500 retail outlets in the Northeast, including co-operative grocers, natural food stores, and regional farm stands

Pomegranate Ginger Carrot Salad

This bright, refreshing winter fruit salad features fruits that are in-season during the winter months and couldn’t be simpler to toss together.  The pickled ginger carrots from Real Pickles lend a healthy probiotic boost and when combined with the antioxidants from the pomegranate and the Vitamin C from the citrus, this salad packs an immune-boosting punch well suited for the winter months. The pomegranates are also featured in the weekly sale from November 23rd – 28th, so it’s a great time to give this salad a try!

Spotlight on Real Pickles

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on a worker-owned cooperative aiming to change the food system by making pickles – Real Pickles! All of their probiotic-packed products are 20% off for member-owners this week! Read on to learn more about what makes this co-op beyond worthy of the spotlight:


The Real Pickles story begins in 1999 when Dan Rosenberg attended a traditional pickling workshop during a NOFA conference. Armed with this new skill, he began pickling locally-grown vegetables as a way to preserve the harvest so that he could continue eating locally during the winter months. He was further inspired by the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a researcher who traveled the world in the 1920s and 30s studying the diets of indigenous peoples, finding that those eating traditional diets including fermented foods enjoyed a high level of health completely unknown in industrialized societies.

After two years of experimenting with recipes and honing the craft, Dan was ready to launch the business. From the very beginning, he prioritized local/regional food and organic agriculture. Real Pickles would buy its organic vegetables only from Northeast organic farms and sell its products only within the Northeast. A year later, the business began operating out of the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center in Greenfield, MA, a business incubator kitchen created to boost the local agricultural economy by providing a venue for making value-added foods with local farm ingredients. Dan was soon joined by Addie Rose Holland and the business began to grow.

Dan Rosenberg and Addie Rose Holland

By 2009, Real Pickles had outgrown the incubator kitchen and was ready to settle into their own home. They purchased a century-old industrial building in Greenfield, MA and transformed it into a solar-powered, energy-efficient, organic pickling facility. The move allowed for a significant expansion, tripling their purchases from local farms in the years to follow. Their success demonstrates that there is a real and growing demand for raw, fermented vegetables and that consumers value a business as deeply committed to social responsibility.

In 2013, with a goal of preserving their social mission for the long term and with the help of a successful community investment campaign, Real Pickles took the exciting step of transitioning their business to a worker co-operative. They are proud to join the ranks of other co-operatives that are supporting local ownership, workplace democracy, and contributing to the co-operative economy!

Want to learn more about the farmers in our region that supply Real Pickles with fresh, organic veggies? Click HERE!

To learn more about the health benefits of fermented foods, click HERE.