Pick A Peck Of Pickles -
And Save A Historic House
By Anne-Marie Smolski/ Townsman Staff
March 16, 2006
bottle or jar of Root Cellar Preserves maple syrup, corn relish
or pickles packs a promise. Fifty percent of the profits will go
into a fund that co-founders Lorne and Susan Jones have
earmarked for the preservation of early American homesteads.
Having launched their business in January 2006, the
Wellesley residents have their product in stores in Dover,
Natick and Wellesley. And, they've already identified a
preservation project: the Draper House in Dover. The town is
looking to raise funds to move its oldest house to the town
common. Root Cellar Preserves has jumped on board, and will
donate half of all the proceeds earned from sales in stores in
Dover toward the community's preservation efforts.
In addition to preserving early American homesteads, the couple
wants to offer a variety of products that were once commonplace,
but now hard to find.
doing it at home and quickly realized it's not cost-effective,
and it was too labor-intensive," Susan said about their pickling
enterprise. The couple develops the recipes for their pickles
and relish and then has them made for them. Their Sweet and
Spicy Pickles and Apple Cinnamon Pickles are made for
distribution by Root Cellar Preserves by a small out-of-state pickler. A family-run farm in Saratoga, N.Y., makes their corn
relish, and their maple syrup is from a family-run farm in
At home, the couple does all the printing,
labeling and marketing. As time goes on, they'll probably be
farming some of that out.
"He has his strengths, and I have my strengths, and it works
well together," Susan said. "We have such complementary skills,"
Lorne and Susan Jones
(Photo by Mark Thomson)
who by day is a marketing executive
Susan, a stay-at-home
mom to daughters Isabel, 7 1/2, and Eleanor, 3, has
a background in nursing and marketing. "She's the salesperson,"
Lorne said about his wife.
She goes into a
store with her product, leaves a sample, and "in most cases,
they really liked the product," Susan said. She's done tastings
at various local stores and will be doing more.
Both from upstate
New York, Susan's and Lorne's mothers always pickled fresh
produce. The couple love to go to Haymarket to pick up things to
can for their own home. "You pickle and can whatever you have
extra," according to Susan. It's always been a way of life for
her. She said that lately, they've been making a great cranberry
they've put a modern spin on traditional recipes. They've jazzed
up pickles, for example, giving their Sweet and Spicy ones a
touch of heat. Look for dill pickles down the road.
In addition to
being excited about their product line, the Joneses are focusing
on supporting the small suppliers, they said. "That's a
priority, to be able to source from the small guys," Lorne
"We also want to
support local businesses," said Susan.
In addition to
that, Lorne said that "the pickles are great, and it's all for a
good cause": trying to raise awareness for the preservation of
their American heritage.
"We can tell our
kids that Mommy and Daddy contributed to saving that building,"
when they see one that Root Cellar Preserves has helped, Susan
Preserves' products can be found in Wellesley at Fells Market,
326 Weston Road and at John Dewar and Company, 277 Linden St.;
in Dover at Dover Market, 14 Springvale Ave., and at Isabella's Groceria, 60 Center St.; in South Natick at Lookout Farm, 89