Stu's Story

How The Perfect Bloody Mary Was Born

Stu and Rudi's Saturday morning routine had lost its luster. Another round of tasteless Marys left them wanting more. Bleary-eyed and unsatisfied, Stu waxed poetic about his passion for preserving pickles while Rudi calculated exactly how much of his hard-earned money he was wasting on bad morning cocktails.

Then one day, it dawned on Stu that his hobby of transforming fresh, crunchy cucumbers into slightly sweet, fiery sour pickles might have enormous potential. Stu shared his idea with Rudi, threw a generous tip on the table, got up, and set to work hand-crafting the perfect Bloody Mary. Using his homemade pickle brine as the foundation, Stu built the most complex and consistently satisfying Bloody Mary in Chicago.

A little while later, Stu and Rudi teamed up as business partners. Today, the pair of old college pals are sending their sour pickles and perfect Bloody Mary mix beyond the borders of the Windy City because everyone deserves to have a truly good morning, especially when that morning demands the perfect Bloody Mary.

Stu & Rudi

Stu Waters

In culinary school, while other students were setting bananas foster a flambé, Stu was in the basement with a magnifying glass and a flashlight, transforming fresh food into fermented oddities. He played with wine, beer, and cheese, but pickles took his heart. A firm believer that you should know what you're eating, Stu loves to introduce himself as “Stu, who sells sour pickles” because it's always good for a laugh.


Rudi Schmidt

Rudi always thought his old college buddy might be onto something with his crazy pickle canning. After watching Stu craft the finest Bloody Mary mix he'd ever tasted, Rudi was hooked on the idea of sharing the love with other Bloody Mary fans. A finance major with a keen business eye, Rudi concentrates on managing and growing Stu's, so Stu can concentrate on perfecting more preserved foods. True to his Michigan roots, Rudi's garnish of choice for his Bloody Mary is a cold, crisp pickle.


Passion for Preservation

Stu’s is bringing back the art of food preservation, one pickle at a time.

Vegetarian Food


Only field-fresh cucumbers from Midwest farms, natural ingredients and spices go into Stu’s Sour pickles.

Local Food


We support local farmers who are committed to ethical farming and preserving our precious natural resources. We hand-pack our pickles in season and use fresh, wholesome ingredients from generations gone by.

Healthy Food


In the end, pickles are just cucumbers soaked in vinegar, but we love them.

Stu's Bloody Mary and Sour Pickles