CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – When it comes to peppers, the question, “Hot or Sweet?” has been one of the toughest decisions for north central West Virginians over the past 50 years.

“This business got started in 1972. My father started it with the help of his mother,” said owner of Oliverio’s Peppers, Mark Oliverio.

Now, Mark and his son, are the third and fourth generations of the Oliverio family, in Clarksburg, doing what the family started a half century ago in Mark’s grandmother’s basement, in Glen Elk.

“We did it in her basement from 1972 to 1975. In 1975, my dad started building a larger facility in Clarksburg,” said Oliverio.

From there, the facility has grown from just one kind of peppers to everything we know and love today.

“We started off with just my grandmother’s recipe, which was the original medium hot peppers in tomato sauce, and we’ve obviously grown that to sweet, medium hot, red hot.”

That’s in addition to the mild banana pepper rings, cauliflower, jalapeños and pizza sauce, among other things. These products are one of the reasons why the name “Oliverio’s Peppers” is synonymous with the area.

“It’s pretty nice to go into a restaurant and see your name on the menu. Most of the people around here, now, have grown up with it. So for your average person (in north-central West Virginia), it has been there for their whole lives,” said Oliverio.

And what’s next for Oliverio?

Mark said that they manufacture different products for other companies across the country, but most importantly will keep growing locally to bring the best food they can produce, here in the Wild and Wonderful state of West Virginia.

They don’t just ask for peppers. They ask for Oliverio’s Peppers.

Mark Oliverio, third-generation owner of Oliverio’s Peppers

You can get Oliverio Peppers, or any of their products, at restaurants and grocery stores throughout north central West Virginia, their website, or even stop by their office at 280 North Ohio Avenue in Clarksburg.

Oliverio Peppers can be reached by phone at (304) 622-4959 or by their Facebook page.