Salt & Vinegar touting female, immigrant, and minority-owned brands in Bella Vista

Jen Honovic Herczeg helms operations within the South Ninth Street Italian Market.

Bigwig businesses always find a way to have their say in America’s economic identity, but what can burgeoning entrepreneurs do to be able to chime in, too? Since December 2022, first at 905 Christian St. and now at 905 S. Ninth St., Jen Honovic Herczeg has served as a voice for them through Salt & Vinegar, whose shelves shout “Support the little guy” within the South Ninth Street Italian Market.

“I look to give attention and opportunity to individuals who need an assist to get their products out there,” the owner said in elaborating on her website’s mention of “large traditional outlets” as imposing competition. “This location gives them a lifeline, in a way, and puts great labors of love in the hands of discerning customers.” 

In supporting up-and-comers, the proprietor proudly pedals more than 200 brands, spreading them across categories such as baked goods and treats, cards, flowers and plants, snacks, candles, linens, coffee and tea, honey, condiments, jams, and beverages, with locally owned, made, and sourced goodies among her favorites to market. Female-owned brands constitute 85 percent of Salt & Vinegar’s commercial partners, but no matter which entities align themselves with Herczeg, she is hoping to give them a nice share of the area’s limelight. 

“People like variety, so we cater to that with our sale items,” she said, noting how happy she feels that what she had intended to be a three-week pop-up venture has met with lasting receptivity in the community. 

Along with seven staffers, she enjoys being the initial retail outlet for many brands and loves being able to be that while nestled around so many prominent South Ninth Street Italian Market establishments. The strength-in-numbers attitude helps the businesswoman, who also has a Center City pop-up at Dilworth Park Cafe. It further validates her decision to be an integral part of a community that wants merchants to do well and customers to feel they are making worthwhile purchases. 

“This is all about being an advocate for brilliant people who want to place their goods in the hands of people who will truly appreciate them,” said Herczeg, whose other recent means to connect with fellow fans of food and fellowship include holding an author meet-and-greet and forging a Pie Club partnership with a Bucks County-based farmstead.

After helping a patron with a purchase, she added, “While I definitely appreciate the hard work of bigger companies, there’s something very special about helping people who have a lot to contribute to their niche.” 

Salt & Vinegar
905 S. Ninth St.
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.