If you believe something in your heart..... then you pursue that!
Craft Food Classroom
Craft Food Classroom

Episode · 1 year ago

If you believe something in your heart..... then you pursue that!


Eric and David sit down with Michael Mintz, owner of Cleveland's iconic Bertman Ballpark Mustard.

Bertman Foods Co. was started in the 1920's by Joseph "Joe" Bertman. He was an old-fashioned businessman who could be making sales calls, loading trucks, reviewing books, or buying produce on any day. His work ethic is etched into the company's DNA, focusing on and expanding our product line and distribution. Bertman's memorable spicy brown mustard, used at League Park, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Jacob's Field, and now Progressive Field for over 90 years, and has been referred to by Rachael Ray as "the best mustard on the planet!"



This podcast is brought to you by Hyden's, founded in one thousand nine hundred and twenty nine and Shaker Heights, Ohio, by local butcher Joe Hayden. Hindans is grown to twenty three total locations, with nineteen stores in the Cleveland area and for in the north shore suburbs of Chicago. After years of building connection with Midwest farmers, it became a part of Hyden's nature to do business with smaller regional companies. Today, Hydans is proud to carry nearly seven hundred Midwest made non produce items that are present in all departments. For more information, go to hyanscom. Welcome to the craft food classroom podcast, where we help make food business simple at every stage of growth. Brought to you by PNC bank and central kitchen media and now here's your host, Eric Diamond. This is Eric Diamond, David Miller, bringing you the next episode of the craft food classroom, the podcast. David, congratulations. In our order of man, Hey man, thank you. What that you want to tell everybody's put on your way. All Right, sure, why not, says, if I don't have enough things going on? We welcome in our fourth child. gratulations to the Miller family. Yeah, thanks, man. It's pretty it's complete. Now it gives us alignment this on. His name is Jackson. He was born on seven fourteen twenty one. That's so. You talked about you alignment and touchdowns, but I'm glad for greatness. Yes, sir, I'm glad to be back. He how's things going with you? And we're doing well, man, we missed you. God to see you back in here. And Yeah, be a while since we did a podcast. Yeah, I definitely missed it. Today, as a special day, though, we have a very special guest with us. Boy, when we start lining up these big time guys, it when you were gone. Okay, that's how that works. All right. So who we have with us today as a gentleman by the name of Michael Mints, and He is a principle at Burtman's mustard, ICONIC CLEVELAND BRAND, Cleveland Indians, burtman mustard. Yeah, that's where we're at. That's it. That's it. Wow. Well, Michael, welcome, thanks for having me. Guys, we really appreciate you coming on. So why don't you give us a history of this kind? I mean, everybody knows it in Cleveland, but wanted to tell us about it. How did start? How did you guys get involved? What's the history? Well, burtman's been around since nineteen and twenty five. We're actually the oldest partner of the Cleveland Indians. Wow, wow, so it's a it's a pretty cool, pretty cool moniker to half. And Yeah, there's some parks that come with that. Yeah, we get mustard, but no, they're great partners. Were very honored to be a part of it. And burtman started in Joe Burtman's garage back in probably before nineteen twenty five, and he had an idea of hey, I want to create this spicy...

Brown, kind of a bavarian tasting mustard and kind of share this with the world. And he actually had created it. said this thing is fantastic, I think people are going to love it, and he just he took it to the Indians and and he sold it at leak park, the original storic ballpark. Yeah, right, and they've had it ever since. What were they doing from mustard prior? Just your original orange, I mean yellow, right, yeah, I'm sure, I'm sure. Well, but this, this this type of mustard has been centuries old across the world. Okay, but yeah, I don't think they had a spicy Brown. No, nothing was like it. Yeah, that was in one thousand nine hundred and twenty five. Yep. And then fast forward. I mean, how do we get to here, where we're at today? What was the iteration of that? Well, it's grown with some additional products. Actually, Burtman had all types of food products. Oh really, he had a pickle. That was second and none. Wow, unfortunately we don't have that formula anymore, otherwise we might be also in the pickle business. Yeah, but he created I think I had a catchup, he had coffee and just over time. He just wanted to be a local company. Sure, he didn't really have plans to expand it beyond northeastern Ohio, and that's part of the change. When we got involved in the company, we wanted to bring it more than a regional mustard. Gotcha. Really want to share it with as many people as possible. So a lot of people can get it now through Amazon or, you know, through our Internet. Yep. Yeah, so, and we have a pretty big social media presence, so people are more and more getting know about it. clevelanders that move from Arizona and they're ass Florida. So people know about US really, really, almost across the whole nation. That's very cool. So when did you guys get involved? We've been doing this with them since what? We got involved in the company in two thousand and fourteen, I believe. Okay, okay, so we're really the only second generation family really to have the company. That's incredible. Yeah, that is incredible. So is it any burtman family still involved, like unknown? Yeah, okay, perfect. So talk to us about the pandemic. How did that affect you guys? Well, like a lot of people, were very big in food service. Yes, so restaurants, the Cleveland Indians, anybody who uses the mustard was not using it during that time. Right. We know what happened to the restaurant industry during that time, unfortunately. Has the retail business was continuing? Yep, people were still buying food and droves in the grocery stores. All right, and unfortunately, buy our mustard as well. That's great, but food service changed. We see that coming back now. Good. So you're back in the stadiums now, obviously. Yeah, yeah, and it but it's slowly moving in. You know, it's not at full go yet full good. Yet. That's interesting. So what's it like to have such an iconic brand? I mean is it's a basically the same recipe. It's been ineos nine hundred and twenty five. It is and it I have to tell you it's a lot of fun and an honor to be representing this company. It seems like everybody is, certainly in northeastern Ohio,...

...has heard of it all right. So when when we meet people they're always saying or I'm introduced to someone, they go, Oh, love that brand, my favorite mustard or right, and the quote we hear all the time. I wish had a nickel for every time I heard this. We have it in our refrigeration. We might have to coin that phrase. I actually have it to my refrigerator right now. It's good my I'm going down to visit my father in law. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he asked me to bring a case with burtman's mustard for him. And Cool, I know where they store it, so I should. I'll be able to buy some. That's very, very cool. So what was your background before two thousand and fourteen and getting involved in the company? Well, I was, on account a CPA. Okay, so it's pretty good background to have for, yeah, what we're doing right now and did a few different things. But I would say that because I, you know, I keep an eye in the books. Shares that's important, that it is pretty important. So what do you see? The is you look along the landscape of Cleveland, it's become kind of a foody town. Oh Yeah, been fun to see people like Mike Simon Success and, you know, Burtman's success and others, and we're involved in that in that community right now growing entrepreneurs and brands. How do you feel about having a brand in Cleveland, Ohio? Well, we love Cleveland. We love the fact that the you know, the brand grew out of Cleveland. Or People like Michael Sim and, he's a huge fan of the mustard. I don't know if you know this, but his famous maples barbecue sauce the base, yes, the base of the sauce is burtman original park mustard. I did not know that. Did know that. And a number of chefs in town create recipes with our mustard. We also have a page on our website in which we have all types of recipes. People right in these recipes. We don't even create them. People create them for us. That's Incredib I mean there's a recipe out there with our mustard and ice cream, if you can believe that, and people say it's great. So there's a I believe that, Mike. There's a thing going on right now. And Tick Tock with watermelon and mustard. Really, Huh? and they say that like mustard kind of takes away I don't know, it enhances the watermelons sweetness. That's what they say. You should write with Burtman's I'd be cool. Huh, like a watermelon lay in around to get barry on that. Well, people are always creating recipes with our mustard. Matt fish uses dirt on has a cool recipe for a sauce. As matter of fact, we did a we did a piece on Fox News, locally, sure, with moss man and school dude. Yeah, and I talked about the mustard and then they switch to Matt who was working with what was her name? Natalie, I forgot the as she's from the news. Yeah, who works with Moss Manager, and they mixed up a this sauce that Matt created and with a Bourbon's yeah, yeah, and that was real fun. And Yeah, so we did a we did a piece. Fox News also called US nationally for the Republican National Convention. Wow, Maria Barto Romo, sure did a special for just food, like in the second...

...day of the week during the RNC, and they invited a number of companies and we were one of the companies, one of four companies. Wow, and they talked to us. I remember having when we when we walked in, the security was so great we had to walk through Secret Service, FBI, Cleveland Police. I was carrying a backpack mustard. Yeah, exactly, and they said what's in a backpack? I go mustard. So is there you know? I Cleveland Folklore that you know the stadium mustard came out of the same company as Bourton's mustard. Is that true? Well, the guy that started stadium worked for Bourman. Is that right? Okay, yeah, and and then he went and created his mustard, which is also a good product. Sure, and you know, competition keeps you on your toes. True, we believe in that. Now, are you a Foodie? I I love food. Good. That makes you a friend, makes you a Foodie. You know, there's a lot of cool areas in the country for example, NAPA is known as a real food town, super you know, top chefs. Yep, Cleveland has, I think, not becoming has become it. Yeah, that type of a town. I mean you can just list some of the chefs here. Oh, yeah, and they, you know, I mean Michael Simon kind of started and it seems like but he has. We've got some great chifts in his town, Zach Parul, and wonderful, wonderful people. Mike Simon is a standards graduate, which I am shot out my sign and saying, I guess, wrestler. So what are you some of your favorite places to go in Cleveland as far as eating? Yeah, I've got a lot of them, everything from Johnny's to flower to have you been to crew? I've not. The French it's called crew, I believe, isn't it? French restaurant, oh off in orange or all over over there? Okay, Ninety one in Chagrin right, and that bit. I mean Giovanni's going too little Italy and you just get wrap rattle off the names. I mean the food in this town is second and none. Yeah, it really is. It's absolutely incredible. We will take a break and we will take a breaking for our sponsor, which is honeycomb credit. We're going to do some product tasting and we will be back. This is Eric and David bringing you the craft food classroom to podcast. We will be back. Honeycomb credit is proud to sponsor our friends at central kitchen, who are dedicated to sharing the stories of Cleveland entrepreneurs crafting the city's food legacy. With a track record of working with Cleveland small businesses such as go Buddha, Pope's kitchen and Levin Bakery, honeycomb has become a onestop shop and helping entrepreneurs scale and grow. Now that the food industry is pacing forward, honeycomb is here to supper for you by unlocking capital, increasing consumer engagement and marketing your local brand. Find out more at honeycomb creditcom grow. Is Erican David.

We are back with the craft food classroom the podcast. We are here with Michael from burtman's mustard. Hey. During the break we were talking. This podcast series is obviously sponsored by Hindans, but you guys have a great partnership with Hindand we too. We have all of our products with Hinhans. We also have our beer mustard, which is a collaboration with the Great Lakes Brewing Company. We started that back in two thousand and fifteen. How did that come about? They wanted a beer mustard, okay, and they called US and said we want to create a beer mustard and we can't think of a better company to work with. And yeah, that's cool. We're very proud of that. We were very honored by that. And so we came up with a formula. First try. They really they loved it and it has the dortmunder beer in it, their flagship beer m and it it worked. It's very popular. That's awesome. So how many different flavors of mustard do you have? Our original, Yep, and the Dortmunder. Okay, perfect. And then you have another product lane as well as right, we have a horse ridersh sauce. I've never had. That has a huge following. You have to try it. That's all I can say about it. Okay. So who comes up with your new recipes? It's a collaboration of in house. Okay, and we have a couple of new products on the on the drawing board. Excellent, so stay tuned. Excellent. That's very cool. New Products a yeah, we all we all all foods. Yeah, okay, good, good. So I just heard that during the break that Sunday is National Chili Dog Day. I just heard that too. So what do you guys? You get a lot of request when holidays like this come up from you know, people reach out to you guys for your mustard on these kinds, for promotions and stuff like that. Yeah, yeah, we do. We we try to stay ahead of it as well. Right, so we have a pretty nice following on social media. We do. We do posts, you know, instagram and Facebook, twitter and and we kind of announced all of these things as well, okay, and kind of let people know that these things are coming up. And why not try burntman with it? Right. What about any recipes? Do you have any favorite recipes that you like to shout out? Gosh, there's so many. My best recommendation is go to our website. We have a recipe page allent and and these are all recipes that all kinds of people have written in and just create it on their own. Could let's your website, Burtman Ballpark mustardcom. Got You. That's perfect. As you look back on two thousand and fourteen, when you guys got involved taking the pandemic out of it. What's some challenges that you've had, if any? Well, there's always in in any business, there's always supply challenges or you're always trying to grow. You want to stay profitable so that you can continue to provide the product and service that people...

...have come to. You know, trust exactly right, expect right. So I would say, like most businesses, we go through all types of pains, like growing pains. Sure, as we as we expand, we're starting to move outside the borders of Ohio. Right. There's been more and more demand for our product, which is wonderful, and those types of things. If you look at what's going on today, of course you have the supply chain problem, transportation, labor force, all of these things, you know, affect all of us. So that's been always true. It's it's like spinning plates. You know, you you you spend the ones that are the most important first and and try to keep the other ones going as what right? How many retailers are you in? We're in almost all the local retailers. As from where in the Kroger's and Columbus, the Myers, the Hinans, giant eagles, no walmarts. We are in the walmarts? Yes, if that just started this year, actually a relation? Good. Yeah, I say a Walmart. Yeah, I did too, but I don't want to be wrong. Yeah, yeah, the rug bust and and locally, yeah, I mean Ohio. Sure, do you think you'll expand beyond Ohio? I mean we're looking to yeah, you know, you never want to do something too quickly. Sure, and and and move too fast and not being able to supply right. But yeah, we have some lofty plants and we'd like to get into more retail, would you? Yeah, right. And what about food service? Of Food Service is going to always be an important part of us. Yes, and we're doing food service well outside of Ohio. All. So, for example, we're we're in Oakland Coliseum. Really, we're in both universal in California and Florida. A wonderful, wonderful. So who does your sales for the team? You guys have sales of people, distributors, you do it. We have a broker network. Okay, great, excellent. So, as we you know, as we hear at, you know, central kitchen, we foster a lot of start up brands and they always kind of look to you know, brands like yours and they say how do we how do we get there? What's one piece of advice you could give these entrepreneurs that are, you know, starting out brands, in hustling and looking to become an iconic brand like Burtman's as well? There's a lot of frustration in trying to launch a product. Even when you add a product to an existing brand, it's not a slam dunk. So my best advice is definitely do not give up. If you have a passion for something and you believe in that and you believe that in it, in your art, and you know that you've got something that's wanted and needed, then you pursue that. Yes, good, and I'm in a general way. That's that's my simplest bit of advice. So that's that's great advice. That's wonderful advice. So Barry, are inhouse. Chef has dropping off some food for us. So we have a all plant based hot dog from field...

...roast and apparently barry was telling us these are in nine different ballparks about the country right now. I've never had them. I think the dodger dog is now plant base. Plant base. A dodger dog is plant based and on top of it he has put some wonderful wake robins Sour Crot which is also sold to add Hinans, and we've got some Kimchee pickles here on the side, also from Wake Robbins, and we've got some burtman mustard. What kind of you had? I'm going in with the dort months, going with the deal with money, right, I'm going to go in with the original. Are already it's got a let seal on it to Oh yeah, you got it, yea, thank you, thank you. Let's try this. You Ready, David? I'm ready. Wait, I didn't get to sorry, O, there you okay, we will cheers our dogs. Yeah, Cheer Dogs, Gentlemen. Wonderful. All right, take a bike, Napkin, will be back out. That's delicious. It is wonderful. That is wonderful, I might it, the way the mustard and the sour crock go perfectly together. It just complimented and Jeffanie beer to wash it down. We do we do you like a dorm under yet, please? Right, just board UN in the simmers. I will tell you. Look at that. This is a dormund. Then our money. Shout out to Great Lake Right laid out to Burtman's to gather. You guys are perfect pair. Cheers, loves gears. Hey, burry, this dog is a truth as would taste like. It's plant based and so it's not even soy bait. It's like P protein. This is p protein. That's incredible. Where are they? Out of Berry Green Leaf? OUT OF CANADA CANNON? MMM Boy, this I mean, maybe it's a mustard that makes it taste so much better, but we'll mustard take make to any tastes. But now this is wonderful. I didn't expect lunch that one. Tried these came up pickles. What do you think of wow, it's good. I'm surprised. I'm great. This is awful. This is really wonderful and you know, for the future we got to make sure our studio in house guests get some food too, because it's so rude to eat like it's so delicious too. Is Wonderful. This has been this is excellent. MMM No, I want to try the little little bit of the Horse Worts, rader. I'm a big horse riders. Right, that's very good. Also are you can squeeze it out. Okay, I'll just Pierle's going to did. So that's what I was saying. I think I saw a guy make a recipe this weekend from Walleye, off a lake earye, and he used both horse radish and must know the Burtman for the yeah, Oh, yeah, that's cool. Yeah, and I want to do that too. I want to try it. That's a licious if you create a recipe, send it to gale okay, and we'll post it. Sure, perfect. Be the David Miller they have with the David Miller, yeah, from central kitchen. That's right, right, the Miller from central kitchen. There you go, the David Miller Dog David. This is delicious. HMM. Any final comments? You have questions you have for Michael...

Before we let him go? No, I just I just want to say I appreciate your energy and you're like your candidate demeanor and all you guys are doing for the Community of Food and Cleveland and having a stable like burtman's here to kind of anchor and flagship. You know, again, like Eric says, we dealt with a lot of startups and when they come through they can see the lighthouse but they don't have a clue how to get to it. And then you guys casting that big light and being so local and so touchable. That's a good thing. So I just want to give you Kudos and are I just let you guys know we appreciate what you're doing and what you're doing for the food community, because it looks like you guys are walking permission slip, HMM, to dream. MMM. Yeah, well, thank you for that. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me today, guys. Thank you. This has been wonderful. The product is great and it's been great to get to know you a little bit better. You got it for forward to seeing you guys some more too. I'm looking forward to those new lines of products. Okay, well, come back on and tell us about it. Absolutely. Thank you. Hinnan's our sponsor for sponsoring this podcast and we look for the next episodes. Anything in closing, David, no, just glad to be back into saddle that to have you to know and shout out to highands. They always make this such a great time and looking forward to doing more with definitely, and congratulations again on your new pay thanks man, I appreciate this is Eric and David bringing you the craft food classroom the podcast. Until next time, pace space thanks for joining on the craft food classroom podcast, where we help make food business simbol at every stage of growth, brought to you by PNC bank and central kitchen media. To learn more about what we're doing, visit us at the central dot kitchen. Please subscribe to this podcast to learn more about food entrepreneurs and their experience in the craft food business. This podcast is brought to you by Hydans, founded in one thousand nine hundred and twenty nine and Shaker Heights, Ohio, by local butcher Joe Hyden. Hindans is grown to twenty three total locations, with nineteen stores in the Cleveland area and for in the north shore suburbs of Chicago. After years of building connection with Midwest farmers, it became a part of Hyan's nature to do business with smaller regional companies. Today, Hyans is proud to carry nearly seven hundred Midwest made non produce items that are present in all departments. For more information, go to hyanscom.

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