“Someone once told us it takes 5 years of very hard work to become an instant success.” – Gary Tymofichuk.
Meet Gary, a quality meats aficionado from Kelowna, BC. Gary and his brother John are the fun-loving duo behind the “Two Pickled Uke’s Brand”, a company that makes pickled sausage and pepperoni in a retail jar.
Gary and John were raised in Kelowna and graduated from Kelowna Secondary School. After 50 years in the grocery business, they decided to take their love of fine quality meats and make it their full-time business.
Along with their (very supportive) wives, they experimented for 5 years to get the perfect product. Many a mason jar later – “Two Pickled Uke’s” was born! Their products are now available in a number of major chains throughout BC and in the future they hope to be able to distribute nationally.
Pepperoni “Pro-Tip” from Gary: Add one of these (or 3) to your Sunday Caesar for the ultimate Sunday Funday! Gary’s favorite? The Ukrainian Kielbasa!
Outside of work, Gary is a long-serving member of the Knights of Columbus (40 years!). Here’s what Gary has to say about being a small business owner.
What’s your name, title and the name of your business?
Hi! I’m Gary Tymofichuk, I’m president of “ Two Pickled Uke’s Brand “, a company that makes pickled sausage and pickled pepperoni in a retail jar!
What inspired your business?
Years ago there was a business that would produce pickled sausage in a big jar. They stopped making it for a number of years and we (John and myself) said “there’s a want for that”. So we started experimenting. We tried doing it with full sized sausages and it didn’t seem to work for us. One day we were sitting around eating pepperoni and we thought “why not try pickling this?” So with the help of our wives, who had good pickling recipes, we changed our trajectory and came up with a recipe. It took us 5 years. Today we have 4 varieties of pickled sausage: a Mild Pepperoni, a Hot Pepperoni, a Turkey Chicken Sausage and a Ukrainian Kielbasa Sausage.
What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome as an entrepreneur?
The biggest hurdle was first of all, to get the proper recipe so that the product would last and work for us. Currently our biggest hurdle is trying to find a federal co-packing plant that can co-pack our product so we can sell it across Canada. As of right now we are only allowed to sell it in BC, as a local BC product.
What’s one piece of advice you would give other entrepreneurs or those starting out in business for themselves?
If you have an idea, and you think it’s a great idea, work on it and don’t give up. It takes a lot of work and there’s a lot of hurdles to jump. It takes time, be patient. Someone once told us it takes 5 years of very hard work to become an instant success.
Tell me about your experience working with Interior Savings.
You can’t start a business with stones and pop bottles! We were very fortunate to tie up with Interior Savings and they’ve helped us and been patient with us for the last 5 years. I would recommend anyone starting up to go in and have a chat with them.
What aspect of your business or professional life are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the product. The product speaks for itself. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and to see the product finally in the stores, on the shelves, on the retail level – that’s the satisfaction of it all.
Also the feedback we get from the people who have tried the product. We get great comments from our customers and we thank them for it.
Follow Two Pickled Uke’s Brand on Facebook!