From Ambler to Pottstown, businesses in Montgomery County have been working around the clock to stay afloat, while keeping employees, and customers safe during the COVID-19 crisis. Their hard work and innovation has not gone unnoticed. Each week, we're sharing their stories.
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Jack Intrator is always searching for the perfect pickle.
Intrator maintains high standards for what makes the cut for all his products at Moishe’s Pickles.
“I’m never going to sell it if it’s just passable. Let some other guy sell it. I’m selling the perfect pickle and sours,” says Intrator.
Intrator and his family hail from the Lower East Side. Here is a bit of a quick history lesson from the New York Times:
“The pickle shops of the Lower East Side, which originally served East European immigrants looking for an inexpensive taste of home, have for decades maintained a reputation as the center of all things pickled in New York.”
However, things have changed.
“Now there are only one or two pickle purveyors on the Lower East Side. It’s not like years ago when there was a pickle guy on every corner,” explained Intrator.
What has not changed is the appetite for pickles with the Lower East Side flavor.
“When I moved here in 1999, everybody…and I mean everybody asked me to pick up pickles when I went back.”
In May 2019, Intrator started Moishe’s Pickles and did two or three farmers market a week. The Upper Merion Farmers Market was the first that Moishe’s Pickles set up shop at and they remain a regular vendor there. Intrator praised the Upper Merion Farmers Market and Vince Lattuca, Staff Liaison of the Upper Merion Farmers Market Advisory Board.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit Montgomery County in March, it put a pause to handing out samples at farmers markets. It was poor timing for Intrator and other vendors since the spring is usually peak time for the market foot traffic.
Once approved to start giving out samples again in mid-June, Moishe’s Pickles returned. Samples are extremely important to Moishe’s Pickles since they provide that first taste.
“If they can’t smell it, taste it and touch it its not the same experience,” said Intrator. “When people come to me, they think they like dill or bread and butter pickles. What they know is from Vlassic. There are no dill pickles. Everything here is garlic based. People aren’t familiar with the difference…until they taste it.”
He also gives a crash course in pickles. If you want pickles to last it’s important they are covered in liquid at all times (cold water, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and keep them closed). There are no byproducts or artificial ingredients in Moishe’s Pickles to prolong its shelf life.
Moishe’s Pickles prepares their product out of their commissary at the North Penn Fire Company. They are a familiar vendor at farmers markets in Montgomery and beyond such as:
- Pottstown Farmers Market
- Pretzel Park in Manayunk
- Telford Night Market
- Horsham Nights
Aside from farmers markets, pickle lovers can call 610.805.3840 or email Retailman1105j@gmail.com. Recently, Intrator started shipping pickles across the country as far as Arizona and Texas.
His menu is more than pickles. Some other items on the menu include mangoes, pineapples, turnips, and whole green tomatoes. Moishe’s hot and spicy pickles have a big following. Pickle platters for parties are also very popular --- and a tongue twister!
“I love introducing pickles to people and show them what it is all about,” said Intrator. “Many don’t know what a green tomato is until they try it. I look at it as educating people and bringing it to a new world.”
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