JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Blytheville man is taking his pickling hobby and turning it into a career.
Dedric Davis said gardening changed his whole outlook on life.
Davis won the 2017 Master Gardener Project of the Year for his work, overseeing the Mississippi County EOC Community Garden in Blytheville.
His passion for working in the dirt, has led him down a path that he never imagined.
“I had no idea,” Davis said. “A lot of people talk about mental health issues and I was angry and mad at the world with two college degrees. I was just lost. Even with college degrees, I didn’t know which way to go, where I was going and how I was going to get there. When gardening came into my life, it changed my whole perspective.”
After being left with a surplus of cucumbers, Davis decided to dabble in pickling and experiment with different ingredients.
In fact, it eventually led to Mr. Davis Pickle, LLC.
He uses homegrown ingredients from his backyard garden.
“I grow my rosemary. I grow my mint. So, my pickles have a lot of natural ingredients with great benefits in them," Davis said.
He started selling his pickled varieties at local festivals around Northeast Arkansas. In less than six months, his product is already being sold at two grocery stores, including the Hays Grocery Store in Blytheville and Gunn’s Grocery Store in Wilson.
“If you invest in your community, I guarantee you it will invest and give back to you,” Davis said. “That is exactly what has happened to me.”
Right now, he is running the operation out of his home.
“I’m running the assembly line by myself,” Davis said. “Each one of these cucumbers are hand cut. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. They’re made with love. Every pickle is like a party in your mouth.”
He attributes his success to the strong women in his life, like his grandmother and his fiancé, who motivated him to take it a step further.
“She believed in me and encouraged me to do better and be better. Everything changed for me," Davis said of his fiance'.
Davis is hoping to eventually get his product into restaurants. He is also looking to purchase a building and additional equipment to be able to expand the process even more.