1917 - It all begins on Church Street in the heart of the village in a small backyard kitchen made entirely of cedar. Edna Sassard turns her canning hobby into a booming business, selling her artichoke relish and other hand-crafted canned foods to her friends and neighbors in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Mrs. Sassard, recognized as a formidable cook and preserve connoisseur, begins experimenting with the Jerusalem artichoke, an odd looking little root akin to a cross between a potato and a ginger root. It doesn’t take long for her relish to become a best-seller. It remains the company’s top-selling product to this day.
Soon, the recipe repertoire expands to include green tomato relish and pumpkin chip preserves, as well. Her husband, Nelson Sassard Sr., owner of a small printing shop, creats and prints the first labels. The Sassards spend their evenings gluing his labels onto the jars she canned earlier in the day. Mrs. Sassard dedicates the next 45 years of her life carefully expanding her small canning business, surviving both the Great Depression and World War II.
1962 - Edna Sassard eventually turns the business and her recipe secrets over to her daughter-in-law, Gertrude. The new Mrs. Sassard develops several additional recipes, but maintains the integrity of Edna’s originals. The brand now includes iced tomato pickles, iced cucumber pickles, sweet onion relish and a variety of jellies and preserves, depending upon the season.
1977 - The small backyard pickle shop produces more than 500 cases of artichoke relish and more than 200 cases of preserves and pickles each year. This volume of work demands the efforts of the entire Sassard family. Nelson Jr., Gertrude’s husband, helps out in the early morning hours before heading off to work at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. The two oldest children, Nelson III and Edna Elizabeth, assist in production after classes at the College of Charleston. The two younger sons, Ronald and Allen help out with the cleaning, rinsing and preparations as they can.
2013 - The third generation assumes the helm. Gertrude’s youngest son, Allen, prepares for a leap into the future. With a modern new kitchen facility coming online in February, and the launch of a newly designed label, Mrs. Sassard’s hand-crafted, original recipes are set to grace the shelves of major grocery stores and local food shoppes throughout the Southeast.
The Sassard family invites you to enjoy a “Taste of our Lowcountry”.