Our Story

The Story of The Zucchini RelishPappy's Gourmet family picture


For as long as I can remember, my parents have been avid gardeners. They have
planted everything from pumpkins and strawberries to okra and rhubarb. Zucchini
has always had a place in their garden and they have always been extremely successful
in growing it (at times a little too successful)! My Mother (Pappy to all of her grandchildren!) came up with a tasty way to utilize a lot of the zucchini, she developed a unique recipe for zucchini relish. She has been making this recipe for years and has always received rave reviews. To this day, no one in our family can eat a brat or a hot dog without it.

And So It Begins...

It was years after my mother had started making her zucchini relish before Pappy's Gourmet was born.  I was working a full-time job and commuting 2 hours each day to work.  I had my first son and realized that even though I loved my job, I wanted to spend more time with my family and start something that just maybe I could pass down to my children.  

My father, who had just retired from his career was also looking to start a new enterprise and one day it just clicked.  We realized that there was nothing on the market that could even come close to comparing to my mother's zucchini relish, so why not try to market it?  After months and months of research, we finally decided to take that leap and launch Riverfront Marketing Group, LLC and with that we launched our specialty foods line, Pappy's Gourmet.  

I was lucky enough to be able to quit my full-time job, with the support and encouragement of my husband, and along with my father we dove headfirst into launching our products.  

Our focus was on creating a few specialty foods products (which included our famous zucchini relish) and pepper jellies that used only the finest ingredients - trying to take advantage of all the gorgeous produce grown in our area.  We live in an area with a lot of family farms so we are able to get zucchini, peppers, peaches, onions and tomatoes during the summer months. 

Initially we started by having our product produced for us by a co-packer until we were able to make sense of the federal regulations and learned the food industry a little more.  We went door to door around Washington and other neighboring cities to begin selling our products.  We attended (and still do!) tons of art fairs, craft shows and other festivals to share our products with as many people as possible.  

Still to this day, there is nothing more exciting than someone tasting our relishes or pepper jellies for the first time and having them rave about how wonderful they are.  

The Growth Continues...

At the beginning of 2011 we opened our own commercial production facility in downtown Washington, MO.  We found a historic building right on the river and began hand crafting our products in small batches.  I feel that this allows us to control the quality of the product - we even make sure to taste test everything that goes out (one of my favorite jobs).

In 2014 we had the opportunity to buy a small established and award winning food brand that created different varieties of pepper jellies, Liz & Linda's.  We felt that the brand embodied our ideals as a company and we were able to have a smooth transition to us producing and selling the Liz & Linda's products.  In the past two years we have added 5 new products to the line and are looking to continue that growth in the coming years. Some of the best sellers include Golden Pecan Pepper Jelly and the Original which is made with fresh green bell peppers with a hint of red pepper flakes for the right amount of heat.

In June 2016 we opened a small retail space in our kitchen!  Customers will have the chance to come in and sample our products and at the same time see them being prepared in our kitchen.  We also have kitchen decor, accessories and baking accessories available for purchase.  Our shop is open Monday thru Friday from 10-5 so we hope to see you then!

While expanding our customer base we continue to produce the highest quality food products for our customers.  We are all excited to see what the future holds for us and hope that you will join us in our efforts to produce great foods from our family to yours!

Enjoy!  

Carrie Freese
Co-Owner
Pappy’s Gourmet and Liz & Linda's
cfreese@pappysgourmet.com
636-432-1440