Billie Shaw opened the first Fickle Pickles shop in Boerne in 1981. Officially called Carousel Antiques & Fickle Pickles, the Boerne location remains the flagship operation, but the brand has expanded considerably in the last three decades.

In 2006, Shaw’s daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Jake Obriotti, took over operations.

The Obriottis still own the business, which now includes shops in Gruene and New Braunfels.

“It started with only one recipe,” said Jenny Reacer, manager for the New Braunfels and Gruene locations. “We’ve kept it simple, and it’s been a great business model.”

Technically, Fickle Pickles sells three products, each an offshoot of the original pickle formula Shaw created decades ago.

The original product has a signature essence that blends sweet and spicy flavors with what Reacer calls an ideal crunch.

From there, Fickle Pickles expanded its product line to include the extra spicy version. Reacer said it involves just a little bit of extra spice added to the original recipe.

The third product is a marinade that is essentially the pickle juice from the original formula.

Reacer said the original location in Boerne is a kind of bucket list destination for tourists, since it was the first location of a now-established brand.

Additional evidence of the notoriety of Fickle Pickles is shown via its online sales platform, through which customers purchase the product from locations around the world.Then there are the famous customers.

“We have sold to, well, he was the governor at the time—President [George W.] Bush,” Reacer said. “[Super model] Cheryl Tiegs has bought from us. Being in Gruene, we have a ton of musicians who, their roadies will come in and buy from us.”Perhaps highest on her list of notable musicians, Reacer exuberantly name dropped local accordion and polka legend Alex Meixner as a customer.

Despite the global interest in Fickle Pickles, Reacer said it remains a priority to keep the company small.

“Our concern is if we go bigger, is that flavor going to change? Our clientele, a lot of them [shop with us] because they know our product is going to be handmade,” she said.

Fickle Pickles

161 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels


Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day