Best friends dip into new ways to showcase pickles.
For Sara Doherty and Britt Jungerberg, food has long played an important role in their friendship—from their first meeting in the Chaska High School (CHS) lunchroom back in ninth grade to now, as co-founders of Plucky Pickle Dip. Their spreadable concoction with a base of dill pickles, blended white beans and cream cheese comes in four varieties.
After graduating from CHS, the women remained close friends. Doherty now lives in Excelsior, and Jungerberg is in Edina. They developed their Plucky Pickle Dip during their entertaining phase. “We used to do these elaborate dinner parties, and we were always trying new recipes,” Doherty says.
As they got older and had children, those elaborate dinner parties evolved. Multicourse meals that consumed an entire evening became casual get-togethers over small bites with shorter preparation periods. One of their offerings was a spreadable pickle dip. “Britt and I have always loved pickles,” Doherty says. The dip was such a hit among their guests—including the kids—that they started selling it at local farmers markets. “We launched in 2017,” Jungerberg says. “We couldn’t believe it, but we had one of the longest lines there.”
What was it about the pickle dip that brought the customers in droves? Doherty says it’s one part familiarity and one part nostalgia. “It’s the surprise and delight of a familiar ingredient in a new environment,” Jungerberg says.
Initially, they named their product Darling Pickle Dip. Later, they changed it to Plucky Pickle Dip, feeling that the new name was a better fit. “Plucky is a strong representation of our personalities,” Doherty says.
That wasn’t the only change. The demand for pickle dip outgrew their ability to make the product on their own, and the dip was making its first retail appearances on the shelves at Kowalski’s Markets. “It was too much,” Jungerberg says. “We were still working 9-to-5 jobs.” As a result, they reached out and found a manufacturing partner.
Today, Plucky Pickle Dip is proudly made of products sourced from the Midwest, including Wisconsin cream cheese. It remains one of the only pickle dips on the market, but neither Jungerberg nor Doherty is resting on her laurels. “We have two new flavors coming, maybe more,” Jungerberg says.
Through it all, their longtime friendship has proved to be a significant part of their success. “The partnership has been crucial,” Jungerberg says. “It’s been fun. We’ve been learning as we go and learning to work with each other. We always find a way to get it done.” Doherty says, “We haven’t had much doubt. We knew we’d make it work.”
Even if the business goes away tomorrow, the duo is confident that the friendship will endure. “Above all, the friendship is what matters most,” Jungerberg says.
The spicy version of Plucky Pickle Dip was the first of the brand’s four incarnations to make its way into our home. After tasting the dip, by way of a pretzel, I had regrets—why didn’t I buy all four varieties? The dip served up the perfect blend of brine from the pickles and heat from the cherry peppers and jalapeños. After several bites, the rest of the tasters at the table started tossing out ideas for other food vessels to carry the dip—avocado toast, an egg breakfast sandwich, a hot Italian sandwich, melted into pasta and on it went. What started as a taste test ended as a game of “This Would be Great with …” —Renée Stewart-Hester
Plucky Pickle Dip Flavors
Original: Coarse-chopped crunchy kosher dill pickles mixed with a smooth blend of cream cheese, white beans, herbs and spices
Spicy: The original with hot cherry peppers
Cheese & Mustard: The original with sharp Wisconsin white cheddar and whole grain mustard
Vegan: The original with vegan cream cheese (not pictured)
Where to Buy
Plucky Pickle Dip is sold at Costco, Coborn’s, HyVee, Kowalski’s Markets, Lunds & Byerlys and Target.