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In a pickle

A young woman wearing a chef jacket and pill-box cap, stands behind a tall, deli counter and passes a jar to a woman in a pink sweater whose face is not seen.
Cooking student Brittany Ward shares mustard pickles with a customer at the Pork Shop in New Glasgow

When David Wall, Manager of the Pork Shop (New Glasgow and Denmark), found out his long time preserves supplier would no-longer be able to provide him with product, he knew exactly who to ask for help: Chef Gilles Godin and his Cooking class at NSCC Pictou Campus.

“It was a disappointing time,” says David. “They were popular products and sold well.” He adds, “When Gilles said he and his students could help, I was very pleased and excited to be able to offer local, inspected preserves to my customers again.

Chef Godin says he jumped at the opportunity to work with Wall—a friend and frequent guest speaker in his class. “For the past eight years, David has come in to show students the art of making sausages." He adds, “Now, I could return the favour and create another learning opportunity for my students.”

A really nice point of all of this is that we are helping out the community, giving the students some experience and supporting the College.

David Wall
Manager of the Pork Shop

Getting down to business

Gilles and his class have been making pickles for the past ten years—using a tweaked family recipe. As the first assignment of their first year, new students are taught the science of making pickles. “It’s a great way to practice knife skills as well as teaching preserving.".

The project also helps the students develop their business acumen by having them create product packaging, oversee the purchase of supplies and equipment, ensure all regulatory guidelines are met, and manage incoming revenues.

Each year, the class produces 20 cases of pickles and other preserves. “We’ve always sold these to the staff and students of the College” says Gilles. He adds, “We always sell out.”

This is the first year that the product is being sold outside the College—exclusively at the Pork Shop—all 240 bottles, which include regular and mustard pickles, pickled beets, corn relish, strawberry rhubarb and blueberry jam.

“The quality of the product is excellent and the customers are responding very well,” says David.. “For a new product and new supplier, I’m very pleased with the sales.”

“A really nice point of all of this is that we are helping out the community, giving the students some experience and supporting the College,” says David.

Preserves have nearly sold out for this season. This Fall, Gilles and his new class of first year Cooking students will once again be stocking the shelves at the Pork Shop. They will also be creating some new treats for customers.

Fun Fact

The mustard pickles are the Pork Shop’s top selling preserve.