I love this story. Guss’ takes no shit. Mess with Guss’ and you get burned.
It is high time for me to make a Guss’ pilgrimage. Alas, my new job doesn’t afford me the time to walk down there or even subway it down there midday, but my wallet has been fattened to the point where I can cab there & back without thinking to much about it. It’s, like, some strange cosmic balancing act.
From The NY Post
WHOLE FOODS’ PICKLE
MAKER SOUR AT STORE
By LEONARDO BLAIR and CYNTHIA R. FAGEN
DILLICIOUS: Pickle-proud Patricia Fairhurst, outside Guss’ on the Lower East Side, says Whole Foods undermines her with a rival product.
July 5, 2007 — It’s a case of the big pickle versus the little gherkin.
A pickle peddler says she’s soured on trendy Whole Foods, claiming the chain of supermarkets has been buying legendary Guss’ Pickles from a Bronx rival she accuses of ripping off the famous name.
“Whole Foods is selling the pickles [as if ] they are coming from the Lower East Side’s Guss’ Pickles,” said owner Patricia Fairhurst. “They never came from me. I am Guss’ Pickles.”
The briny brouhaha stems from a legal battle between Fairhurst’s 85-year-old store on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side and another business, United Pickle in The Bronx.
Fairhurst insists that United Pickle stop using the Guss’ name synonymous with sours and dills.
Both sides are due in Manhattan federal court July 16 to fight over the name – but Fairhurst accuses Whole Foods in the meantime of using the Guss’ Pickles brand to sell a rival’s inferior product in a new Bowery store.
A Whole Foods Market spokesman, however, insisted that United Pickle – run by the Leibowitz family – is the true purveyor of the pickle name.
“We believe we are selling the original Guss’ pickles,” said spokesman Fred Shank.
“United Pickle has been making Guss’ pickles for 85 years,” Shank said, adding that when Fairhurst switched suppliers “she was no longer sticking to the original Guss’ pickles recipe.”
But Shank offered an olive branch to Fairhurst yesterday.
“We are always looking for new products and if they [Fairhurst] meet our quality standards it might be a product we are interested in.”
Erica Harrison, co-owner of 88 Orchard Café, across from Guss’, described Whole Foods decision to stock the pickles as “awful.”
“She is a very hard-working honest woman who bought a business based on its history and place in the neighborhood,” Harrison said, adding that the eatery supplies a slice of Guss’ Pickles with every sandwich.