Our Story

What’s Inside Matters Most

Our business is to feed people so they can get back to their busy days with renewed energy and a friendly smile. That’s why you’ll find no harmful addititives here, just real ingredients and an inviting atmosphere every time you enter a Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe. We believe that what’s inside matters most, and for us, that’s clean as possible ingredients prepared fresh daily. Our customers know we provide a wholesome, flavorful meal—and that’s what keeps them coming back.

READ MORE: Why We Call Ourselves a Gourmet Café

Quality Recipes + Proven Business Model = A Smart Franchise Investment 

Pickeman’s Gourmet Cafe is a local fan-favorite in the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) industry for our freshly made sandwiches, salads, soups, and pizzas. Founded in 2005 in Columbia, Missouri, we have since grown to nearly 25 locations across Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Nebraska (and coming soon to Texas). Pickleman’s is the go-to destination for people who want to enjoy high-quality food in a casual and comfortable environment.

Picklman’s has a simple process for operating: Provide high-quality food choices for all lifestyles. No gimmicks or false promises here, just really good food served by a friendly team. Unlike other fast food chains, you can confidently eat from our menu daily, just like you would from your own kitchen.

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A Whole Lotta Love Is Our Core Value

At Pickleman’s, we believe in supporting the local community. Our top marketing objective follows the grassroots engagement model: 

  1. Get to know the people in your neighborhood. 
  2. Invite them over for a meal. 
  3. Let the food speak for itself.  

We also participate in profit shares with local schools, support local charities, sponsor underfunded community groups, and encourage our Pickleman’s franchise owners to do the same—because sharing with a neighbor in need creates a deeper brand awareness. 

Meet Our Founder

Doug Stritzel—founder and owner of Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe—grew up in a family that was passionate about cooking, and he developed a love for food (and experimenting with flavors) at an early age. 

He attended the University of Missouri, where he studied business and worked in the food industry while attending classes. After graduation, he worked in the QSR field with brands like Wendy’s, Jimmy John’s, and Tim Hortons. After fifteen years of creating and leading high-performing teams, and developing training programs and operating systems for multiple franchise organizations, Doug set out to build his own unique concept. 

“It was pulling back the curtain on how these restaurants operated that made me want to start a business of my own,” says Doug.

His vision was to create a restaurant that offered high-quality food at an affordable price with a casual and welcoming atmosphere. Pickleman’s sandwiches, in particular, are legendary for their special artisanal bread, homemade sauces, and fresh-cut vegetables. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic turkey and cheese sandwich, a hearty bowl of soup, or a piping hot pizza, you can be sure that you’re getting delicious food made with fresh ingredients.

But Pickleman’s is more than just a place to get a great sandwich. It’s a community gathering spot where people come together to share a meal, chat with friends, celebrate achievements, or just relax in a cozy atmosphere. 

“I started with a single location in Columbia, Missouri, which quickly became popular among students, locals, and tourists,” said Doug. “Our restaurants have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and the team is always happy to help and make you feel right at home.”

In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Doug is also a philanthropist who believes in giving back to his community. He’s involved in several local charities and organizations and is passionate about supporting causes that positively impact people’s lives. This includes mentoring young entrepreneurs. He’s often invited to speak at universities and business events, where he shares his insights and experiences on starting and running a successful business. He’s also an advocate for sustainable business practices and believes in creating a better future for future generations.

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Stop By A Pickleman’s Location For Everything You Need To Know 

Over the years, Pickleman’s has become a place where people come to create memories, celebrate milestones, and enjoy a satisfying meal. Whether you’re a local, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a traveler looking for a great meal on the go, Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe is worth a visit.