Dips and More
Ben’s Sweet and Hot Mustard
History We began making this mustard over 20 years ago for our own personal use. When friends would come over for barbecues and comment on how good the mustard was, we would naturally just give them a jar. Before long, we were making more for friends than we were for our own personal use. We entered this mustard in the Fiery Food Challenge in 2001 and won first place in the condiments division, and won 3rd place for best new product of the year. We didn't even have it in a store yet, but I wanted to see how it stood up to the competition. The next couple of years were quite hectic in our life; we sold a business, moved, and took care of an ailing mother. In 2004 we entered the competition again and won first place. In 2005 we placed second in the Scovie Awards. This confirmed what we always knew and that was Ben's Mustard is exceptional.
As our business grew we began to use two kettles on the stove, then we added two turkey fryers on the back porch. It took 4 people stirring making 4 batches each just to come up with 18 cases of mustard. This was insane! We either had to go bigger with commercial equipment or just quit, so we made the decision to commit ourselves to this business and do whatever it would take in October of 2003. We built a building, went to school so we would have a certified canner on the premises, and had our kitchen approved by the ODA so then we were finally ready to go "Big time" and sell Ben's to the public. In 2004 (our first full year) we sold over 50,000 jars of this delicious mustard by sampling it at trade shows, state fairs, festivals, etc. Once a person buys a jar, they are a customer and their orders range from 2-4 jars to a case when they reorder. Our internet sales have grown every month since we have been on the web and we currently ship to over 33 states and this is because of "word of mouth" sales. Friends', sharing with friends, is the best advertising a business can have and when they find a good product they share it.
We had our product in over 80 stores before we approached Seimers to distribute it for us. I had done business with them for 18 years in our previous business and they were wonderful people to work with. Most of the stores we had our mustard in were customers of theirs already, so it was a win-win situation for both of us. The people at Ohio Proud have been great to work with and have helped us in our business since the beginning. We now have four distributors and Ben's is gaining quite a reputation thanks to all of you that love Ben's as much as we do.