After living in New York for nearly 30 years, Scott Kaylin didn’t mind relocating to LA for his wife’s job. Except for one thing: The pickles weren’t good.
So, he aimed to change that.
Kaylin, who spent 25 years in the fashion industry, enlisted a third generation pickler from New York City to create what he calls “the crunchiest, tastiest and most flavorful pickles on the West Coast.”
It would take a little while, but in February 2020, Kaylin + Kaylin (first operating under the name Kaylin + Hobbs when it began in Vancouver three years prior), made its debut as a pickle tasting bar in the original farmers market in West Hollywood. (The company recently changed its name to Kaylin + Kaylin after Kaylin separated from his initial partner.)
Lucky for Kaylin, he was aligned with one of ten vendors that managed to remain open during the pandemic. “I feel fortunate to have devoted pickle fans here in California,” he said. “I had people calling, asking how many pickles they would need to buy to keep me open. It was very humbling.”
Having a tasting bar has been key to the company’s success because it allows consumers to try a flight of pickles or individual flavors. “The environment is unique and fun,” said Kaylin. “Our pickles make people happy.”
Since opening, the pickle aficionado has created a variety of flavored brines that add to the experience. “I want pickles to be more than something you add to a burger or sandwich,” he said. He’s particularly proud of his Kosher dill, which he considers a “gateway pickle” that helps break people into other flavors. In addition, his Honey Mustard is said to convert 98% of people who hate pickles.
And when’s the last time you had a horseradish pickle?
Honey mustard and jalapeño are his most popular flavors; in total there are 12. He also recently launched three different flavors of sauerkraut: mustard, Siracha and original. Kaylin prides himself on thinking about flavors differently. “Most people would use sauerkraut to put on a hot dog, but we’ve used ours to marinate steak or chicken,” he said. All are gluten-free and vegan.
To get the word out, he’s relied on social media. Kaylin + Kaylin was featured in a TikTok series called “LA Date Night” where users suggest creative date night ideas in the city. The video picked up 300,000 views, which helped raise awareness. Kaylin also has a weekly segment on KTLA 5 called “You Got Pickled” where he tests shoppers’ trivia knowledge for the chance to win his gourmet pickles.
The goal, he said, is to open more locations and move more aggressively into e-commerce. As of now, Kaylin + Kaylin ships to all 50 states and can be found in branded snack bags at Los Angeles International Airport.
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