What's the Dill? to bring unique pickle flavors to Aiken on Sept. 2

Aug. 31—What's The Dill? is bringing a unique menu of flavored pickles to Aiken on Saturday.

The traveling pickle-themed food stand was started by Aiken-native Jalisa Gilliam and will be traveling around the Southeast this fall.

"We're just kind of traveling around to let everyone experience What's the Dill?" Gilliam said. "Once you get a taste for it and see what we're about and we are unique, it's going to attract people to come out and try what we have."

Gilliam has been running the stand with her family for the last six months.

She uses her own pickles that she grows on her family's farm in Orangeburg. However, growing those pickles was accidental.

"I had an idea because I thought I was growing cucumbers," Gilliam said. "And so, I brought the cucumbers in the house, and I was looking at them as I was washing it off. And I was like, 'honey, I think I have pickles instead of cucumbers,' because I just started doing the garden thing."

After realizing that she had been growing pickling cucumbers, Gilliam began thinking of interesting flavors she could combine with them.

"I have a bunch of ideas now since we have pickles," Gilliam said. "I can make just about anything with pickles."

Her daughter helps her come up with menu ideas as well, which has helped build a unique set of menu items.

From Kool-Aid pickles to Cajun flavored pickles to the fan-favorite cheesesteak stuffed pickle, What's the Dill? is proud of its outrageous menu, Gilliam said.

"You just get a chance to experience different tastes, different flavors, just different experiences," she said.

Gilliam has been able to connect with a community of people who are as obsessed with pickles as she is.

"It's just a great community," she said. "It's like no judgment."

Since Gilliam is from Aiken, she said she would eventually like to bring a permanent location to the area.

"We're planning to have a first location," she said. "We're hoping to have it in the home location of Aiken. We want to set it as family-oriented, so, we want to have everything as far as an outdoor setting, inside setting, dining experience."

One of Gilliam's long-term goals is to build What's the Dill? into a franchise and open locations across the country.

For right now, she's also just happy to be able to give back to the Aiken community.

"I'm more excited because it's in my hometown and I can have something to give back," Gilliam said. "Always thought about trying to do stuff for the community."

What's the Dill? will be at The Pink Building at 3056 Augusta Road in Warrenville from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.