Dogwood Hill Pickles and Salsas come from the farm of Eric and Amy Dunlap just west of Chapel Hill in Haw River, NC. They named the brand for the many dogwood trees growing on the farm and lining the driveway.
Eric began making Dogwood Hill products after the shipping company where he worked as marketing director laid him off in 2008. He had a degree in civil engineering and an MBA, but knew the job economy was bad. A few months later, he read an article in one of Amy’s magazines about a mushroom-growing program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) in Greensboro. Enrolled in the program, Eric learned how to prepare logs, innoculate them with shiitake mushroom spores, and encourage them to bud. In order to have a year-round income, Eric turned a barn into a mushroom hothouse. During a newspaper interview , he coined the phrase, "Any fool can grow mushrooms in the summer, but only fools try to grow them in the winter," but he has managed to grow the mushrooms and sells them to Triad and Triangle restaurants.
The pickles and salsa originated with leftover produce from the huge garden Eric planted during mushroom down-time. He had filled a few acres with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers to sell at farmer’s markets, and ended up with an overabundance. He and Amy decided to make pickles and salsa. Eric worked on recipes and introduced Dogwood Hill Pickles and Salsas in 2010.
The Dunlaps use sustainable growing practices and natural, composted fertilizers. They make their products with fresh ingredients. The Hot Salsa uses fresh habanera and jalapeno peppers for extra kick. The salsas are low soduim and preservative-free.
Eric has overcome many challenges, but he’s created a local business that makes a tasty product. Try this Dogwood Hill Margarita Chicken recipe from the Dunlaps' Mushrooms-N-More website . Visit Dogwood Hill on Facebook.