By David Sullivan

WORCESTER – Not many expect Cheryl Gaudreau, a banker, to also be in the business of making pickles. Neither would they expect her husband, a foreman, or her son, an electrician. And yet, the Gaudreau family, along with their good family friend Jon Ano, makes the best craft pickles in Central Massachusetts.

Jon is the general manager at Vincent’s Country Store in Westminster. Jon and Cheryl’s son Erick Gaudreau helped the store’s owner make pickles overnight to sell in the store. But in 2019, Erick approached his mother and asked to buy Stretch’s Pickles from the owner, which was just a brand name and a few pieces of equipment. “I just chuckled thinking, ‘what do I know about pickles?’ I would eat them, but I knew nothing about how to make them,” said Cheryl. But as it turns out, the team’s eclectic professions have helped them build a strong local wholesale business.

Cheryl’s connections with the banking world and her expertise in financing helped give the business a stable footing. Erick’s retail and pickling experience has helped grow the brand in country stores around New England, and Cheryl’s husband Todd has spread the word while on job sites all over the region. Meanwhile, Jon is the “pickle boss” in the kitchen and went to school to study business administration.

“We all bring our experience together to sell the product,” said Cheryl. “It’s sometimes hard to go into business with family and friends, but we feel very fortunate because there’s always something one of us can bring to the table, and we can agree to disagree on certain things and work together.”

After they bought Stretch’s Pickles, the new owners found a home at the Worcester Regional Food Hub. For the past three years, they have been one of the most active members in the shared commercial kitchen at 25 Francis Street, working overnight to perfect their pickling craft. “We do everything in there – making the product, the bottling, the labeling,” said Gaudreau of the Food Hub’s kitchen. “[Food Hub Director] Shon has been a huge supporter of us.”

Working in the Food Hub’s kitchen has given Stretch’s Pickles a reprieve from buying a large wholesale facility, and the Food Hub’s relatively affordable rent rates don’t hurt. The shared kitchen also allows the owners to interact with similar bottled wholesalers like Decimation Hot Sauce, who also are based out of the kitchen and sell wholesale to stores around the state. One product they’ve collaborated on is the Zesty Dill Stretch’s Pickles, which Decimation served with their sandwiches at local pop-up events. “It took off like crazy,” said Cheryl. “We’re always looking to collaborate.”

Stretch’s Pickles are sold in country stores and markets consistent with their craft brand. They are available in stores like Idlywilde Farms, Bolton Orchards, Vincent’s Country Store, Roots Natural Foods, and will soon be available in the new Fitchburg Public Market, a Food Hub retail location opening this year. Their products include not only pickles with a “brine like no other” and have a 14-month shelf life, but also a popular Bloody Mary Mix and pineapple chunks pickled in bourbon.

For all their retail locations, check out, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also email them for more information at