No Antibiotics Ever Pork comes to Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe

The Quick Service Restaurant franchise that proves responsible, healthier ingredients can be both delicious and good for business, has begun sourcing very-hard-to-get NAE pulled pork for six new menu items available now including three sandwiches, two mac & cheese bowls, and the Pickled Cuban Pizza

St. Louis, MO, July 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe has announced it has added No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) pulled pork to its menu. The verified Open Prairie NAE Pulled Pork has created six new menu items on the company’s robust offering, across three menu categories. Available now, they include the Cuban, BBQ Pork and Smokehouse Stack sandwiches, the Pickled Cuban Pizza and coming soon, two new Mac & Cheese bowls. 

Pickleman’s continues to lead the QSR/Fast Casual sandwich category in working to eliminate antibiotics – and other harmful additives and chemicals –  from our food.  By making a commitment to that type of farming we hope to inspire the industry to be more responsible to the animals and their customers. In 2022, Pickleman’s was recognized as the first in its sector to commit to NAE chicken throughout its menu.

“Serving healthier, responsibly-sourced food builds our customers’ trust and loyalty in the brand,” said Doug Stritzel, Founder and CEO of Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe. “Real food tastes better and contributes to our sales growth and industry leading Average Unit Volume.”

Pickleman’s BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich has quickly become a fan favorite since its initial unveiling in Spring and is made in house daily with melted provolone cheese, all natural BBQ sauce, onions and pickles. Recognizing Latin America’s culinary influence we’ve created two new items in tribute: Our twist on the Cuban sandwich and the innovative Pickled Cuban Pizza (thin & crispy like all of Pickleman’s pies)--both with pulled pork. We’ve also added the Smokehouse Stack sandwich with pulled pork,  provolone, bacon and a drizzle of chipotle ranch dressing. 

Going NAE with pork is particularly difficult as the animals need to be segregated in a defined herd, eating only a 100% vegetarian diet, and continuing to be kept apart through the entire process, according to Michael Pierdon, VMD in Farm Journal’s Pork Business section.

The Open Prairie pulled pork Pickleman’s sources is always traceable to the prairie state farm where it was raised, and processed here in the Midwest.
Why care about reducing antibiotics in our food? At least 2.8 million people in the U.S. develop antimicrobial-resistant infections a year, with over 600,000 of those cases directly traceable to food, according to the Center for Disease Control – calling it one of the most urgent public health problems today. Animal welfare is key to suppressing the growth of this problem, according to the forty year old organization World Animal Protection: Animals raised with less stress and more space develop natural immunity to disease and thus vastly reduce the need for antibiotics.

Hayley Sohn, Pickleman’s Head of Nutritional Research & Development said: “Happier animals produce better tasting, more nutritious pork. We do it for the animals, your health, and the health of our nation.”

The language around the use of antibiotics can be confusing to the public and can be misleading – just as the food designations “natural” and “organic” have been fought over in the past. The USDA announced on June 15th 2023, a new effort to tighten up the label terms to eliminate the providers who mislead consumers. According to Consumer Reports, many QSR chains claim items on their menus are “raised without antibiotics,” which is a lower level of care and protection than Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe’s No Antibiotics Ever. 

“Incorporating Open Prairie NAE pulled pork in our menu is just one way that Pickleman’s is serving food from farms, not factories,” said Stritzel. “Recent FDA reports show that while significant progress has been made in reducing use of antibiotics in poultry, the effort to reduce their use in pork has been at a standstill for years. At Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe we are constantly increasing the quality of our ingredients, with nothing hidden. I believe it's up to us in the industry to start leading and say, ‘The status quo is unacceptable and we need to take better care of animals and feed our people real food.’”

Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe is the growing sandwich franchise founded in 2005 by Stritzel after he spent 16 years growing some of the biggest names in the QSR industry. Pickleman’s franchise locations outperform bigger, older brands regularly and in 2022 showed 14.5% growth in AUV.

For more information or to talk to Doug Stritzel or Haley Sohn, contact 

About Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe: The award-winning sandwich franchise Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe was founded by restaurant industry veteran Doug Stritzel in 2005 and has locations across the Midwest. Pickleman's has carved out an untouchable market position in the industry. With an artisan approach we source clean and delicious ingredients in our products. Our unique recipes are proprietary and made fresh daily. We do it with a "Whole Lotta Love" for real food, our customers and our franchise partners. Learn more at


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