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

Episode · 4 months 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 byHyden'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 totallocations, with nineteen stores in the Cleveland area and for in the north shoresuburbs of Chicago. After years of building connection with Midwest farmers, it becamea 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 arepresent in all departments. For more information, go to hyanscom. Welcome to thecraft food classroom podcast, where we help make food business simple at everystage of growth. Brought to you by PNC bank and central kitchen media andnow 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 goingon? We welcome in our fourth child. gratulations to the Miller family. Yeah, thanks, man. It's pretty it's complete. Now it gives usalignment this on. His name is Jackson. He was born on seven fourteen twentyone. That's so. You talked about you alignment and touchdowns, butI'm glad for greatness. Yes, sir, I'm glad to be back. Hehow's things going with you? And we're doing well, man, wemissed you. God to see you back in here. And Yeah, bea while since we did a podcast. Yeah, I definitely missed it.Today, as a special day, though, we have a very special guest withus. 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 ofMichael 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 havingme. Guys, we really appreciate you coming on. So why don'tyou give us a history of this kind? I mean, everybody knows it inCleveland, but wanted to tell us about it. How did start?How did you guys get involved? What's the history? Well, burtman's beenaround since nineteen and twenty five. We're actually the oldest partner of the ClevelandIndians. Wow, wow, so it's a it's a pretty cool, prettycool moniker to half. And Yeah, there's some parks that come with that. Yeah, we get mustard, but no, they're great partners. Werevery honored to be a part of it. And burtman started in Joe Burtman's garageback in probably before nineteen twenty five, and he had an idea of hey, I want to create this spicy...

Brown, kind of a bavarian tastingmustard and kind of share this with the world. And he actually had createdit. said this thing is fantastic, I think people are going to loveit, and he just he took it to the Indians and and he soldit at leak park, the original storic ballpark. Yeah, right, andthey've had it ever since. What were they doing from mustard prior? Justyour original orange, I mean yellow, right, yeah, I'm sure,I'm sure. Well, but this, this this type of mustard has beencenturies old across the world. Okay, but yeah, I don't think theyhad a spicy Brown. No, nothing was like it. Yeah, thatwas in one thousand nine hundred and twenty five. Yep. And then fastforward. I mean, how do we get to here, where we're attoday? What was the iteration of that? Well, it's grown with some additionalproducts. Actually, Burtman had all types of food products. Oh really, he had a pickle. That was second and none. Wow, unfortunatelywe don't have that formula anymore, otherwise we might be also in the picklebusiness. Yeah, but he created I think I had a catchup, hehad 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 wantto share it with as many people as possible. So a lot of peoplecan 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 movefrom 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 youguys get involved? We've been doing this with them since what? We gotinvolved 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 burtmanfamily still involved, like unknown? Yeah, okay, perfect. So talk tous 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 usingit during that time. Right. We know what happened to the restaurant industryduring 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 thestadiums now, obviously. Yeah, yeah, and it but it's slowlymoving 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 ninehundred and twenty five. It is and it I have to tell you it'sa lot of fun and an honor to be representing this company. It seemslike 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 nickelfor every time I heard this. We have it in our refrigeration. Wemight have to coin that phrase. I actually have it to my refrigerator rightnow. 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 acase with burtman's mustard for him. And Cool, I know where they storeit, 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 andgetting involved in the company? Well, I was, on account a CPA. Okay, so it's pretty good background to have for, yeah, whatwe're doing right now and did a few different things. But I would saythat 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 ofa foody town. Oh Yeah, been fun to see people like Mike SimonSuccess and, you know, Burtman's success and others, and we're involved inthat in that community right now growing entrepreneurs and brands. How do you feelabout having a brand in Cleveland, Ohio? Well, we love Cleveland. Welove 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 thebase, yes, the base of the sauce is burtman original park mustard. I did not know that. Did know that. And a number ofchefs in town create recipes with our mustard. We also have a page on ourwebsite in which we have all types of recipes. People right in theserecipes. We don't even create them. People create them for us. That'sIncredib 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 aI believe that, Mike. There's a thing going on right now. AndTick Tock with watermelon and mustard. Really, Huh? and they say that likemustard 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 onhas a cool recipe for a sauce. As matter of fact, we dida we did a piece on Fox News, locally, sure, with moss manand school dude. Yeah, and I talked about the mustard and thenthey 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 aBourbon's yeah, yeah, and that was real fun. And Yeah, sowe did a we did a piece. Fox News also called US nationally forthe Republican National Convention. Wow, Maria Barto Romo, sure did a specialfor 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. Iremember having when we when we walked in, the security was so great we hadto walk through Secret Service, FBI, Cleveland Police. I was carrying abackpack mustard. Yeah, exactly, and they said what's in a backpack? I go mustard. So is there you know? I Cleveland Folklore thatyou 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 createdhis 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. Thatmakes you a friend, makes you a Foodie. You know, there's alot of cool areas in the country for example, NAPA is known as areal food town, super you know, top chefs. Yep, Cleveland has, I think, not becoming has become it. Yeah, that type ofa town. I mean you can just list some of the chefs here.Oh, yeah, and they, you know, I mean Michael Simon kindof started and it seems like but he has. We've got some great chiftsin his town, Zach Parul, and wonderful, wonderful people. Mike Simonis a standards graduate, which I am shot out my sign and saying,I guess, wrestler. So what are you some of your favorite places togo in Cleveland as far as eating? Yeah, I've got a lot ofthem, everything from Johnny's to flower to have you been to crew? I'venot. The French it's called crew, I believe, isn't it? Frenchrestaurant, oh off in orange or all over over there? Okay, Ninetyone in Chagrin right, and that bit. I mean Giovanni's going too little Italyand you just get wrap rattle off the names. I mean the foodin this town is second and none. Yeah, it really is. It'sabsolutely incredible. We will take a break and we will take a breaking forour sponsor, which is honeycomb credit. We're going to do some product tastingand we will be back. This is Eric and David bringing you the craftfood classroom to podcast. We will be back. Honeycomb credit is proud tosponsor our friends at central kitchen, who are dedicated to sharing the stories ofCleveland entrepreneurs crafting the city's food legacy. With a track record of working withCleveland small businesses such as go Buddha, Pope's kitchen and Levin Bakery, honeycombhas become a onestop shop and helping entrepreneurs scale and grow. Now that thefood industry is pacing forward, honeycomb is here to supper for you by unlockingcapital, increasing consumer engagement and marketing your local brand. Find out more athoneycomb creditcom grow. Is Erican David.

We are back with the craft foodclassroom 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 haveall of our products with Hinhans. We also have our beer mustard, whichis a collaboration with the Great Lakes Brewing Company. We started that back intwo thousand and fifteen. How did that come about? They wanted a beermustard, okay, and they called US and said we want to create abeer mustard and we can't think of a better company to work with. Andyeah, that's cool. We're very proud of that. We were very honoredby that. And so we came up with a formula. First try.They really they loved it and it has the dortmunder beer in it, theirflagship 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 laneas well as right, we have a horse ridersh sauce. I've neverhad. That has a huge following. You have to try it. That'sall I can say about it. Okay. So who comes up with your newrecipes? It's a collaboration of in house. Okay, and we havea couple of new products on the on the drawing board. Excellent, sostay tuned. Excellent. That's very cool. New Products a yeah, we allwe all all foods. Yeah, okay, good, good. SoI 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 alot of request when holidays like this come up from you know, people reachout to you guys for your mustard on these kinds, for promotions and stufflike that. Yeah, yeah, we do. We we try to stayahead of it as well. Right, so we have a pretty nice followingon social media. We do. We do posts, you know, instagramand Facebook, twitter and and we kind of announced all of these things aswell, okay, and kind of let people know that these things are comingup. And why not try burntman with it? Right. What about anyrecipes? 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 kindsof people have written in and just create it on their own. Could let'syour website, Burtman Ballpark mustardcom. Got You. That's perfect. As youlook back on two thousand and fourteen, when you guys got involved taking thepandemic 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 alwaystrying to grow. You want to stay profitable so that you can continueto 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, aswe 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 iswonderful, and those types of things. If you look at what's going ontoday, of course you have the supply chain problem, transportation, labor force, all of these things, you know, affect all of us. So that'sbeen always true. It's it's like spinning plates. You know, youyou you spend the ones that are the most important first and and try tokeep 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 andColumbus, the Myers, the Hinans, giant eagles, no walmarts. Weare 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. Butyeah, we have some lofty plants and we'd like to get into more retail, would you? Yeah, right. And what about food service? OfFood Service is going to always be an important part of us. Yes,and we're doing food service well outside of Ohio. All. So, forexample, we're we're in Oakland Coliseum. Really, we're in both universal inCalifornia and Florida. A wonderful, wonderful. So who does your sales for theteam? You guys have sales of people, distributors, you do it. We have a broker network. Okay, great, excellent. So, aswe you know, as we hear at, you know, central kitchen, we foster a lot of start up brands and they always kind of lookto you know, brands like yours and they say how do we how dowe get there? What's one piece of advice you could give these entrepreneurs thatare, you know, starting out brands, in hustling and looking to become aniconic brand like Burtman's as well? There's a lot of frustration in tryingto 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 notgive up. If you have a passion for something and you believe in thatand you believe that in it, in your art, and you know thatyou'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 havea all plant based hot dog from field...

...roast and apparently barry was telling usthese are in nine different ballparks about the country right now. I've never hadthem. 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 somewonderful wake robins Sour Crot which is also sold to add Hinans, and we'vegot some Kimchee pickles here on the side, also from Wake Robbins, and we'vegot some burtman mustard. What kind of you had? I'm going inwith the dort months, going with the deal with money, right, I'mgoing to go in with the original. Are already it's got a let sealon 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, wewill cheers our dogs. Yeah, Cheer Dogs, Gentlemen. Wonderful. Allright, take a bike, Napkin, will be back out. That's delicious. It is wonderful. That is wonderful, I might it, the way themustard and the sour crock go perfectly together. It just complimented and Jeffaniebeer to wash it down. We do we do you like a dorm underyet, please? Right, just board UN in the simmers. I willtell you. Look at that. This is a dormund. Then our money. Shout out to Great Lake Right laid out to Burtman's to gather. Youguys are perfect pair. Cheers, loves gears. Hey, burry, thisdog is a truth as would taste like. It's plant based and so it's noteven soy bait. It's like P protein. This is p protein.That's incredible. Where are they? Out of Berry Green Leaf? OUT OFCANADA CANNON? MMM Boy, this I mean, maybe it's a mustard thatmakes 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. Triedthese 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 andyou know, for the future we got to make sure our studio in houseguests get some food too, because it's so rude to eat like it's sodelicious 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 youcan 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 arecipe this weekend from Walleye, off a lake earye, and he used bothhorse radish and must know the Burtman for the yeah, Oh, yeah,that's cool. Yeah, and I want to do that too. I wantto try it. That's a licious if you create a recipe, send itto gale okay, and we'll post it. Sure, perfect. Be the DavidMiller they have with the David Miller, yeah, from central kitchen. That'sright, 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 likeyour candidate demeanor and all you guys are doing for the Community of Food andCleveland 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 startupsand when they come through they can see the lighthouse but they don't havea clue how to get to it. And then you guys casting that biglight and being so local and so touchable. That's a good thing. So Ijust want to give you Kudos and are I just let you guys knowwe appreciate what you're doing and what you're doing for the food community, becauseit 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 alittle bit better. You got it for forward to seeing you guys some moretoo. 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 saddlethat to have you to know and shout out to highands. They always makethis such a great time and looking forward to doing more with definitely, andcongratulations again on your new pay thanks man, I appreciate this is Eric and Davidbringing you the craft food classroom the podcast. Until next time, pacespace thanks for joining on the craft food classroom podcast, where we help makefood business simbol at every stage of growth, brought to you by PNC bank andcentral kitchen media. To learn more about what we're doing, visit usat the central dot kitchen. Please subscribe to this podcast to learn more aboutfood entrepreneurs and their experience in the craft food business. This podcast is broughtto you by Hydans, founded in one thousand nine hundred and twenty nine andShaker Heights, Ohio, by local butcher Joe Hyden. Hindans is grown totwenty three total locations, with nineteen stores in the Cleveland area and for inthe 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 produceitems that are present in all departments. For more information, go to hyanscom.

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