“Elsie will always be a part of our history; she was our inspiration and served us well, but moving forward, it was time to change the name to avoid conflicts as we expand and open new franchises,” Katherine Cohen Jordan told Philly Grub.
Elsie’s Pickles started in 2016 at a little shop in Linwood, NJ. Katherine began to make her mom, Theresa, sandwiches on her homemade pickles as an alternative to bread. A customer walked in, saw what her mom was eating, and ordered 10 for her office. Katherine eventually parted ways with the shop, and she and her husband decided to strike out on their own, focusing on the pickle sandwiches. That was the moment asandwich star was born.
The original flagship location opened in 2019 in Haddon Township, NJ. After receiving massive amounts of viral media attention, not to mention tons of social media love, pickle pandemonium reached a fever pitch.
“Business was crazy in the beginning, and after exploring our options, we dipped our toes into the franchise waters,” Cohen Jordan explained. “We’re working with a firm based out of Palm Beach, Florida.”
Elsie’s second location, the first as a franchise, in Northfield, NJ, opened in February 2021. A third recently opened in Atlantic Highlands in Central Jersey by the same franchisee as Northfield.
To expand into larger markets, the franchise consulting firm recommended a name change. Finding a new name was not difficult. They were already using the tagline, “Peace Love Pickles.”
“The slogan espouses our goal of bringing happiness to people through our delicious pickle sandwiches,” Cohen Jordan stated. “We’re a happy brand. It’s a pickle party!”
The new name required a refreshed logo, signage, and some interior updates. All locations and future locations will have a consistent look and feel, including illustration artwork by Philadelphia’s Natalie Hope McDonald. The menu will not change, except for possibly adding a few things down the road.
“We’re in talks with a few potential new franchisees and looking into locations on Long Island, Ohio, and maybe even L.A.,” Cohen Jordan offered, reiterating that expansion across the country is clearly on the mind.
Cohen Jordan was quick to specify what sets Peace Love Pickles apart from others. “We’re not just another sandwich shop; we take helping people with special and restricted diets seriously. We love helping all people enjoy food.”
Another big thing for the Peace Love Pickles brand is active involvement in the community. They’ve helped schools and non-profits with fundraisers and events.
A more recent mission close to Cohen-Jordan’s heart is helping youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) find their first jobs.
“Did you know that 80% of individuals with IDD are unemployed?” Cohen Jordan asked. “I didn’t know this myself. These are ready, willing, and able people who don’t typically get the same opportunities to join the workforce.”
She recently hired a young woman with IDD at the Haddon Township location who works two days per week through the summer.
“It’s been great so far; we love having Zoe on our team.”
This is an initiative she hopes to roll out at all Peace Love Pickles locations.