The Hilds are at it again. Michael and Laura Hild, owners of Hot Diggity Donuts, The Butter Bean Market, Dogtown Brewing Co., and Manastoh Brewing in Manchester, announced this week plans to reboot a once-famous Richmond brand, Pin Money Pickles. The brand will join Climax Beverage Co., a once-well-known local beverage brand that the couple is also working on bringing back.
From the Dogtown Dish:
If you are unfamiliar with Ellen G. Kidd and her Richmond Pin Money Pickle empire, know this-she was an inspirational woman entrepreneur who was well ahead of her time. Starting out in 1868 when she was only sixteen years old, Kidd made pickles according to her grandmother’s recipe in her parents home. She began by selling to friends to make a little extra “pin money” and winning multiple blue ribbons at the Virginia State Fair. “Pin-Money” was a term at the time to describe a small sum of money and was frequently used to refer to an allowance given to a woman from her husband for clothing and other personal expenses.
According to Richmond’s Culinary History: Seeds of Change by Maureen Egan and Susan J. Winiecki, four years later an order came in from Seattle, Washington for five barrels of pickles (150 gallons). “She thought it was a mistake and sent the customer five gallons. She received a telegram: ‘Barrels, barrels, five. Could eat five gallons by myself.’” By 1919, Ellen G. Thompkins Kidd was running a pickle processing plant at 1500 West Marshall Street that produced one thousand barrels a day-a long way from making small batches of the family’s recipe for gherkins at home. Clearly Mrs. Kidd didn’t need to rely on any “Pin Money” allowance from her husband. She had built a pickle empire, was one of Richmond’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, and reinvested her fortune in real estate throughout Richmond.