The Pickled Pepper People

Editorial Team

4 min read
The Pickled Pepper People team working in the kitchen

Home chef Kelly DesMangles and her husband enjoy hosting meals for their family and friends in Greer, South Carolina. To honor their Haitian roots, DesMangles proudly serves her signature “Pikay,” an irresistible traditional cabbage-based dish that truly brings the heat.

“It’s like a slaw, but it’s made with habaneros and in a brine that is just delicious on almost everything savory. In Haiti, it is known as ‘Pikliz,’ and we use it on proteins like meat, fish, pork, or anything like that.”

Heating it up with Pikay Fire Slaw

DesMangles’ fanbase of friends suggested she start a business by marketing her delicious “Pikay Fire Slaw.” After researching opportunities in South Carolina, where spicy food rules, DesMangles realized she could infuse the foodie scene with intense flavors from the West Indies.

Jars of pikay fire slaw

“It took time to get all of my certifications and licensing–things I never knew existed. I had to go through DHEC and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to get approved. Once we were up and running in the summer, we started to test the ‘Pikay Fire Slaw’ by giving little samples to people. We got nothing but positive feedback–except for the occasional ‘Oh, this is too spicy for me, but it’s delicious.’”

DesMangles’ desire to grow the business quickly paid off when she scored a grant to sell her wares at the famous TD Saturday Market in Greenville. Thousands of enthusiastic shoppers gather weekly at the bustling farmers market, which features over 75 vendors selling fresh seasonal produce and local crafts.

Taking pride in her achievement, DesMangles explains, “They’re very selective in who they choose for the market because they don’t want to have too many of the same type of vendors. Not only were we selected to be in the market, but we received a grant that paid our whole market fee for the year.”

Shredded carrots in a bowl

Going to the market with Clover

DesMangles appreciates the convenience of her Clover Flex since most of their sales occur at farmers markets. Unlike other mobile POS devices, the Flex doesn’t require pairing with her personal phone to accept payments, and her staff can pass the device around during busy times.

And, by staff, DesMangles means family. “Right now, it’s just family working–my husband, my sisters, sometimes the girls, and my cousin. I know that Clover can do payroll and inventory, which I think is great. We haven’t used those pieces yet, but I know we’ll need to soon.”

In addition to the markets, “Pikay Fire Slaw” is sold at specialty food shops in the Carolinas—including Lowes Foods—and online at the perfectly-named Pickled Pepper People website. And DesMangles is just getting started.

Tiny peppers used by The Pickled Pepper People

For the “Pikay Fire Slaw,” DesMangles and her family rely on local sources as much as possible. Fortunately, they live near rich farmland, not far from where the infamous “Carolina Reaper” is grown. In 2017, the Reaper was certified “world’s hottest pepper” by the official Guinness World Records.

“We want to keep everything local,” DesMangles says. “So, we try to source any vegetable or pepper we’re using locally. A couple of farms in the area have actually reached out to us, as well, and said they’d love to be our producers for any peppers that we need.”

Growth on her mind

DesMangles plans to produce two other “Pikay Fire Slaw” options soon. “One will be spicier using some of the Carolina Reaper or the ghost pepper. And then we’re going to have one that is less spicy for those who think that the habanero is too spicy for them. So, we will have three different versions of the slaw by the end of this year.”

Owner of The Pickled Pepper People, Kelly DesMangles

Pickled Pepper People continues to expand and include more Haitian delights. “We’re working on some other products that need to go through the certification process, which takes time. Hopefully, by the end of this year or the beginning of next, we’ll have a good number of different products out there. It’s a super exciting time for our family business!”

Check out our Meet the Merchant series for more on how merchants are taking their businesses to the streets with Clover.

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