Irene claims to officially be the only mustard lady in San Jose. She learned the trade from her family, who has been making homemade mustards and jams in Canada for over 20 years. Here is San Jose, Irene has been making craft mustards with flavors like Red Pepper Curry and Beer (yes, Beer) for a little over a year. She participates in three different farmers markets and several specialty food and ma & pa shops in the Bay Area now carry her products (list of the local ones below).
Since April 2013, Irene has become a member of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, which she calls the best investment she's ever made. Thanks to the Chamber she sealed a contract to be the preferred mustard vendor for the San Jose Giants Stadium and is also working on a deal with SJSU's Spartan Shops. Meeting other local businesses through the Chamber has built a foundation for Irene as a local San Jose business. One other acquaintance she made that I have to mention is Dan Gordon from San Jose's own Gordon Biersch Brewing company. In 2014 she'll be pairing her beer mustard with Gordon Biersch's Czech Pilsner Beer. Local mustard with local beer, awesome!
When asked, "why mustard?" here is Irene's answer:
"Simple. The flavor has an experience. Most people are surprised when they try my mustards. There is interest, inspiration to work with the mustard beyond traditional uses (BBQ and sandwiches). I like to say it is my Ukrainian coming out. The mustards are more on the sweeter side and we tend to be drawn to sweeter foods. The catch is that mustard has a nutritional value that sores above most other condiments, dressings and sauces. A health advantage that we crave to improve in our diets.
The flavor speaks for itself!
I am excited. This is a great opportunity to provide a genuine product, with much purpose. My mission with this business is to help people realize the full potential of using the mustard plant in many food dishes and medicinal treatments. Mustard has been forgotten. What people think of it now is the 'yellow stuff.' I want to make mustard rich in flavor again by developing my father's recipes of many delicious mustards."
Well, I'm sold. As you wrap up your holiday shopping, please keep in mind local companies such as "My Kind of Mustard." You can find a list of local vendors both large and small over here.
For more details on Irene's company or to order online, check out the My Kind of Mustard website. You can also find "My Kind of Mustard" at the following local stores:
• Neto's Market and Grill, Santa Clara, CA
• Fancy Euro Foods, Campbell, CA
• Old MacDonald Farmer's Market, San Jose, CA
• Cinnabar Wine Shop, Saratoga, CA
• Zanotto's Family Market, San Jose, CA
• Joseph George Wine Shop, San Jose, CA
• Gene's Fine Foods, Saratoga, CA
• All The Buzz Gifts & Gift Baskets, San Jose, CA
• Wildwood Market, Saratoga, CA
• Los Gatos Meats and Smoke House, Los Gatos, CA
• Summit Store, Los Gatos, CA