There is nothing better than a crisp, juicy pickle alongside a sandwich. Katherine Cohen, co-owner of Peace Love Pickles in Haddon Township, NJ, knew the cravings pickle lovers possessed.
However, that wasn’t the only motivation behind opening her South Jersey shop—an eatery that completely eliminates bread and replaces it with pickles.
Cohen’s mother is a diabetic, which then pushed her to adapt meals to what her mother could and could not eat. Food that contains high levels of carbs, such as bread, generally turns to sugar instantly upon consumption. In many cases, items such as baked goods and white bread have very little fiber and lots of sugar, classifying it as a “fast carb.” These foods can be high-risk for diabetics to consume. “So I started making sandwiches on pickles for her,” Cohen said, “and she loved it!”
At the time, Cohen had a smaller store in Linwood, New Jersey, where she would make the pickle sandwich for her mom. “Someone came into the store and saw her eating the sandwich and then ordered 10 of them for her office. I said ‘I think we got something here.’”
For Cohen, it was not about making a sandwich that would come out of any pickle lover’s dreams. In reality, she was providing a service to those who often get overlooked. A service to people, like her mother and the other 37.3 million Americans with diabetes, who cannot eat bread and other typical food items found in a deli.
After selling the Linwood location, Cohen and her husband, Chad Jordan, opened their current Peace Love Pickles location in Haddon Township, NJ. The couple began hosting pop-ups where they sold a number of pickle creations. “People came from all over to get these sandwiches,” Cohen said, “that is why we decided to open a shop dedicated just to pickle sandwiches, just to pickle roll ups and we also do a cucumber rollup as well.”
From the start, Cohen never once thought opening a shop dedicated to pickles was a bad idea, as she classifies herself as a helper by nature. “I am always looking for alternatives for people.” She has even received a number of emails from individuals with diabetes stating that the Peace Love Pickles’ sandwiches are a cheaper meal for them to eat, as they do not have to use as much insulin.
“Medicine is expensive and to be able to provide lunch to somebody for a lot cheaper than other alternatives was always pretty cool. It was more of that mission than anything, “ Cohen states, in regards to her efforts to provide food to those with certain dietary restrictions. “It is a blessing to be able to provide these services.”
In addition, Cohen and her husband also hold a number of fundraising events at the shop that go towards helping animals, people and other important causes.
Since their opening, Peace Love Pickles has caught the attention of a number of large outlets such as Cosmopolitan, TODAY, ABC News, Food Insider and BuzzFeed. Their Instagram also has a following of 22.6K pickle lovers from all over. The shop also has a 14.1K following on TikTok, where a number of their recipes and dishes are shown.
However, even though Cohen is grateful for this type of attention, it never once deterred her from her mission. “Having a big social media feed means nothing if you can’t help people.”
The menu at Peace Love Pickles is extensive, and the creative touch does not go unnoticed. There is the Katz, which pays homage to the famous New York City deli. The Jersey Devil, piled high with turkey, American cheese, sriracha mayo and hot Cheetos. There is also the Vampire Slayer, which comes with your choice of meat and house roasted garlic. Peace Love Pickles also has a “secret menu,” where they sell a number of pickle concoctions not seen on the normal menu.
Peace Love Pickles also sells margarita mixes and mixers all containing pickle brine. As they have so much extra brine in the store, customers are able to BYOC and fill some up to take home with them.
For the summer time, Peace Love Pickles released their Piney Baron cocktail mixer, which contains pineapple, lime, jalapeño and pickle brine. Customers can also browse through a number of other unique items they sell from time to time such as “zickles”—noodles made from pickles—and housemade dill pickle soup.
The mission that Cohen has possessed from the start is what keeps her going each and every day. She refuses to let anyone feel like a burden for being gluten-free or having diabetes. “Once you come into our shop, nobody is ever a burden. Everyone can eat the same things…it is rewarding to provide a safe place for people to go enjoy a meal together.”
Have you visited Peace Love Pickles? Let us know!
About the Author/s
Nicole is a tea lover and aspiring journalist studying Journalism, Creative Writing, and Digital Video Production at Marist College.