I'm Phyllis Haynes, an accidental entrepreneur.
In 2002 my cousin and I wanted to create and publish some favorite family recipes. I had never canned before, but decided to take this challenge and make this my first time. It became a hobby that lasted for six years.
After receiving encouragement from family and friends, I formed this gourmet relish business in West Haven, Connecticut around 2007. Mariah's Relish was born from an family chow chow relish recipe found in my grandmother's kitchen.
Chow Chow Relish was one of the foods that stirred many memories - everyone in the family always had jars of these chopped vegetables put away.
My first commercial production was in December 2008, at the beginning of a recession, maybe not a good time to open a business. But I persevered, mostly selling relish at Hartford farmer's markets and networking events, until the owner of a local grocery chain added Mariah’s Relish as a product. Eventually it was stocked in more Connecticut stores, including being featured in the condiment and relish section of Whole Foods. My business did very well, but when I moved to North Carolina in 2016 it took a while to get back to where I was.
The food business is not an easy one, and I am proud to have stayed in the industry for such a long time. Once the entrepreneurial spirit is in your blood, it's hard to shake!
My re-launch was in January of 2019, and I'm so glad I continued to make and sell my gourmet chow chow relish - even more successfully - today. The support I have received here in North Carolina has been welcoming and given me new relationships.
Mariah’s Relishes are now stronger than ever and continuing the journey from Fayetteville, NC!
Who is Mariah?
“Who is Mariah?” This is a question that I get asked all the time!
Mariah is a family name that has been passed down through generations.
Pictured here is my great great grandmother, Ms. Mariah Helen Fleming McSwine Houston. She was born in 1874, in Scobey MS.
It only felt right to name this family inspired recipe something close to the heart. 💕
The first time I made and canned my own chow chow relish, I felt a close connection to my grandmother, and remembered my childhood in the South - warm memories of family and food.
I began making chow chow as a hobby, so I could share those same memories and feelings with family and friends, and now my many loyal customers. I couldn't keep going without you, so thank you for all of your support!