We had the good fortune of connecting with Laraina James and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laraina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started making pickles for friends. Turns out that everyone loved them, both friends and strangers. From there it morphed into a business, making and selling them to my community and local restaurants. I really liked working for myself instead of others Making my own delicious and nutritious pickled veggies was something that came naturally and something I enjoyed. Having my own business came hand in hand with these developments.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There quite a few things that set us apart. We hand fill every jar with the seasoning so they each have amazing flavor. We also hand pack the jars for each batch to ensure the best vegetables go in each time. Each jar needs to be the best, because each jar is an experience that should be enjoyed. We source local produce from farmers in Colorado. Pesticide free or organic. Miller farms, Monroe farms and Blackcat farm are a few.

We got here by working farmers markets over the course of the past 7-8 years. People get a chance to taste our product and get to know us there. We’ve been slowly growing over the last 7 years from the markets, to store fronts and wholesale.

Some days were easy, some extremely hard. There’s ups and downs but you learn how to handle them all. Keeping a positive attitude and surrounding myself with great people definitely helps I employ a few great friends in the kitchen that make my life way easier, helping me with all the aspects of the business so that we share the work together to make it all come together.

I’ve learned patience goes a long way. Also, it’s kinda like I’m juggling. Things are constantly coming up that need attention. Things have to be figured out on the fly a lot So we figure them out and move forward.

I want people to know that we’re making delicious and nutritious pickled vegetables everyone will enjoy! I love our products, and I love to share them with others. I’m excited to see my company grow, and ready to tackle what comes next.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Nederland is our hometown, up in the foothills outside of Boulder. It is an amazing mountain town where outdoor activities are everywhere. We would definitely go hiking and exploring around the area, or skiing at Eldora if it was winter. A stop at Tres Gringos restaurant would definitely be on the list for some delicious tacos and margs. Summer time means shows at Red Rocks, probably the best outdoor music venue in the country. Being down in the city would probably mean hitting up the delicious restaurants in Boulder or Denver, and of course hitting up a Rockies game.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dad deserves the shoutout. I’m a 4th generation canner. He taught me how to can and preserve vegetables. He gave me a family recipe that I’ve slightly tweaked over time to make it my own. Without him, my business wouldn’t have started. My friends have been there for me thru this whole process too. I’m fortunate that some work with me in my kitchen and help make the pickles. And of course my loving boyfriend Kevin. He hears all the good things and all the frustrations that come hand in hand with running a business.

Website: www.mountaingirlpickles.com

Instagram: @Mountaingirlpickles

Facebook: @Mountaingirlpickles

Image Credits
Kort Duce

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