Meet the Team
"DJ’s Pickles (Back)Story
"It all started with a Food Truck.""
Boston native Chef Don Paleno has lived in the Asheville area for the past 30 years, and is a graduate of the award-winning Culinary Arts program at AB Tech.
In June of 2018, he created an amazing dill pickle chip to garnish the sandwiches he sold from Chef Don’s Gourmet Snack Wagon. They were so tasty that his customers started ordering them as a side item, and suggesting that he start jarring them for sale.
While Chef Don had to shut down the food truck after only a year in operation, like anything truly magical, those pickles remained in the minds of Chef Don and his longtime friend and food truck co-worker Justin Dewalder.
Nearly 2 years passed before Chef Don and Justin made another batch of pickles chips just for themselves - or so they thought!
Friends and neighbors tried them, and they created the same uproar: “Hey guys, these are the best pickles I’ve ever had! Have you ever thought about jarring them up and selling them?”
Someone once said that “destiny favors the bold,” and that may be true, but Chef Don and Justin also knew there was a hungry market out there, so in January of 2021, DJ’s Pickles was born. Like most business plans, ideas were written down with pen and paper. The batch sizes got bigger and people started sharing DJ’s Pickles with their friends and family. Feedback and excitement led to new flavors and finally a storefront where everyone could get their hands on a jar or three.
Today, DJ’s Pickles has several employees and is making the pickles out of a commercial kitchen owned and operated by The Colorful Palate Catering Company in South Asheville. They are working with several local farmers as well, something Chef Don and team are deeply proud of and plan to continue.
Other than being available for purchase at their WNC Farmers Market storefront, you can also enjoy them from The Hungry Ghost Kitchen Food Truck, located at Blue Ghost Brewing in Arden, NC.
Chef Don and Justin have big plans for their pickle company, and hope to see them in many of the Asheville area stores where fine, local foods are available. "