If your mustard tends to come in a single serving packet, or could be used as the filler for a glowstick, it might be time to revisit your options.
Enter Mustard Girl All American Mustards, the condiment concoction owned and managed by Jennifer Connor. In a mere 4 years, Jennifer has gone from being the proud owner of several Wisconsin homemade mustard recipes to being the accomplished manager of a business bursting on the national scene.
Jennifer is a perfect example of taking something you love in life and turning it into a success story. Years ago, she had an affection for a local brand of handmade mustards. Years later, she bought those recipes from the owner himself. Unwilling to accept his initial refusals, she kept at it until she won him over.
He was convinced by her passion, which was undeniable. She had experience in creating something great (she owned a private-label cowbell company when she was younger which notably created a "Bush Bell" and the "Gore Gong" that now sit in the Smithsonian as colloquial political commentary). The final tipping point? A sign from above (literally... a church sermon focused on the merit of the mustard seed left her speechless) which removed any doubts in her or his mind about what she was meant to do.
Her dream is blossoming. She is in 800 grocery stores (spanning from Minnesota to Florida) including Whole Foods and Jewel, as well as restaurants such as Tavern On Rush, Hub 51, and Gibson's. A sampling of her 5 all-natural flavors will be offered at CostCo’s all over the Midwest, and come next season you’ll be able to enjoy her at US Cellular Field.
So, what makes this jar of mustard spread like wildfire while other, more humble, mustards sit forgotten in the back of your cupboard? Three secret weapons: quality, price, and phenomenal branding.
I’ve seen first-hand the eye-opening grin that overtakes the face of a Mustard Girl neophyte as they have their first sample of the Sweet n’ Fancy Yellow, American Dijon, Sweet n’ Spicy Honey, Stoneground Deli or Zesty Horseradish.
At a recent tasting at a local CostCo, the crowd couldn’t get enough. “I really love mustard,” they would exclaim, and somehow it became apparent that what they meant to say was “I really love THIS mustard!” That kind of praise, and ultimately fanatic loyalty, doesn’t come unless the quality is there, and for under $3 a bottle you could spend a lot more for a lot less of a gastronomic experience.
Then there is Jennifer.
When she says her goal is to “make hot dogs happy,” you know she means it, primarily, because it’s pretty clear she likes making everyone and everything happy. Brands must have a personality that resonates with the buyer and Jennifer’s does so effortlessly. She is the girl on the label. She is the girl in the blue dirndl with an infectious laugh and undeniable charm. She actually IS Mustard Girl, and that commitment to her product and to her customers shines through like gold.
Find It: Whole Foods, CostCo, www.mustardgirl.com