Eric Tecosky’s parents, children of first-generation Americans, had been taught that a good job can be built into a career and from that a piece of the American Dream can be yours. When passing the lesson on to Tecosky and his sister, they added a qualifier: Find a job you love, turn that into a career and a piece of the American Dream can be yours.
Tecosky had done that through years working in, managing and owning bars and clubs in Los Angeles. But the startup itch he’d had ever since he and his father developed a pizza topping called Pizza-Put-On in the garage of the family’s Philadelphia home, still needed to be scratched.
One night, while making a dirty martini at Jones Hollywood – where he still pulls a shift from time to time – Tecosky had an “I can’t take this anymore” moment. Dirty martinis were among the top sellers at Jones and its bartenders regularly ran out of olive juice while the olives dried out in the jar. Add to that the fact that the juice in the jar is low grade – just there to keep the olives from spoiling – and the hole in the market was clear. Tecosky said to a friend, “How come no one bottles this stuff?”
A year later, and with a little help from appearances by pop star Christina Aguilera and actor John Corbett, Dirty Sue made its debut in Los Angeles.
Sales have grown in double digits every year since the launch. Dirty Sue products are now available in thousands of bars and liquor stores across the country. In addition to Dirty Sue Premium Olive Juice, Tecosky has introduced a line of premium cocktail garnishes – olives that are hand-stuffed with fillings like Wisconsin bleu cheese, garlic and feta; pepperoncini and jumbo cocktail onions. A premium bloody mary mix is slated for release in 2016.
Much of the joy in building the company, Tecosky says, comes from the fact that his three investors are his father and his two college roommates, both of whom are Whitman School alumni.
About Eric “ET” Tecosky:
Tecosky lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their four “found on the street” dogs. In addition to Dirty Sue, he holds the patent for an innovative beverage coaster – TheSeatSaver.com. He has consulted for companies large and small and works with other aspiring entrepreneurs to help bring their dreams to market.