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Downtown Businesses

Aunt Kiki’s and Pappy’s Gourmet: Where Zucchini Relish Can Take You

I am sure you have seen and tried Aunt Kiki’s delicious salsa and Pappy’s Gourmet pepper relish. However, do you know that they are produced right here, in downtown Washington? It all started two years ago, when Carrie Freese had her first baby. Here is the full story!

Meet Carrie and her dad: the owners of Riverfront Marketing Group, LLC and the brands Pappy’s Gourmet and Aunt Kiki’s. When Carrie had her first son she was working a full-time job and commuting 2 hours each day to work. Although she loved her job, she realized that she wanted to spend more time with her baby. At that time, her father, who had just retired from his career, was also looking to start a new enterprise, and one day it just clicked.

Carrie’s parents have always been avid gardeners, and her mother came up with a tasty way to utilize a lot of the zucchini. She developed a unique recipe for zucchini relish that everybody loved and raved about. Carrie and her father
realized that there was nothing on the market that could compare to it, so they decided to start marketing it.


After months and months of research, they took the leap and launched Riverfront
Marketing Group, LLC and the specialty foods line, Pappy’s Gourmet. They are so devoted that they even have a zucchini plant growing right in front of their building!

Their focus is on creating a few specialty foods products (which include the famous zucchini relish) that use only the
finest ingredients. Carrie and her father try to buy as much local as possible: zucchini, peppers, peaches, onions, tomatoes, etc.

Initially they started by having their product produced for them by a local co-packer until they were able to make sense of the federal regulations and learn the ins and outs of the food industry.

At the beginning of 2011 they took over our own commercial production facility in downtown Washington, MO. Now they are located in this fabulous historic building right on the riverfront!

This is where they hand-produce all of the products in small batches. Carrie still cooks on the stove and she taste tests I everything that goes out (one of her favorite jobs!).

With their expansion the Riverfront Marketing Group have decided to hire rep groups to grow their product line in the midwest and in the south. They already have half the country covered!

Why “Pappy’s Gourmet”? Because all grandchildren know Carrie’s mom as Pappy, and her dad as Pappy Jo. Pappy’s Gourmet is their specialty line, while aunt Kiki’s is the grocery line. The latter is more mainstream, but still with an unique touch.

You can buy Pappy’s Gourmet products at many of the downtown shops. This beautiful gift basket from I.B. Nuts and Fruit Too makes for a great gift from Washington!

Pappy’s newest product, their specialty sauces, are made with fresh fruits and vegetables to create rich flavor and thick texture. You can find them at I.B. Nuts on front Street.

While expanding their customer base (and their family), the Riverfront Marketing Group are still always working on producing the highest quality food products for their customers. We are lucky to have them downtown! (Photo: Pappy’s Gourmet)

For the full line of Riverfront Marketing Group Products and delicious recipes, visit their website here. You can reach them at 636.432.1440 or e-mail them at info@papysgourmet.com.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


2 Responses to “Aunt Kiki’s and Pappy’s Gourmet: Where Zucchini Relish Can Take You”

  1. Great article, Slava! Thanks again for coming in to chat with us!

    Posted by Carrie | August 7, 2012, 9:34 am

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