Lines of farmers bring cucumbers to market for the pickle industry in Mt. Olive, NC in June of 1947.
In 1926 the Mt. Olive Pickle Company was formally incorporated by local business people in Wayne County. The effort to start the company arose within the community, and the original group of 13 local shareholders invested $19,500 to establish a company to pack and sell pickles.
The shareholders purchased an acre of land for $1,000, constructed a 3,600-square-foot building and hired a factory superintendent and a sales representative.
The salesman, Shickrey Baddour, a Lebanese immigrant, had conceived of the idea for the factory when he saw cucumbers rotting in area fields.
Within just a few weeks, the number of shareholders grew from 13 to 21.
Mt. Olive Pickle Company started an employee profit sharing program in 1943, becoming one of the first companies in the country to do so.
In the early days, records indicate that most of the work at the plant was done by hand. Since then, it has grown into an innovative and modern facility distributing the country’s bestselling brand of pickles.
Today, the factory complex still includes that original acre and is located at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Streets in Mt. Olive.
ConDev6305a From the Conservation and Development Photograph File, State Archives of NC.