There are two things Martha McLean loves to do -- one is to cook and the other is to socialize.
She gets to combine both in her new business ventures. Martha is marketing her hot mustard at the farm home she and her husband Maury live in on University Farm Road.
About 160 people attended an open house at the McLeans Sunday to enjoy Martha's Hot Mustard and to get a first look at the recently remodeled home.
One guest, Terry Schwartz, lavished praise on the Biddick popcorn with a hot mustard and butter combination. Others echoed his suggestion and the popcorn treat was a favorite among the visitors
Martha's Hot Mustard has ""passed mustard"" for many years with family and friends of the McLeans.
""About seven years ago, a friend was making the mustard for us and we ate it so fast she finally said
take the recipe and make it yourself"," Martha said. ""Then I started making it for friends and family and they couldn't" get along without it"."
She enjoyed making the recipe for friends, many of whom told her she should market it and sell it to more people.
Last year, the McLeans built on to their three generation home and a new addition in the basement was a perfect place for her kitchen. She got her
stainless steel sink and stainless steel pans, passed a state inspection and received a license for the business. She found a company in Milwaukee for the
bottles she uses to package the hot mustard and she found a company in the Minnesota-LaCrosse area to do the labels on the packages.
Now, all she had to do was market the hot mustard. She was nervous about that aspect of the business, but family and friends assured her it would sell
itself. The hot mustard is a blend of a hot and spicy, yet sweet taste that goes well on just about anything. It enhances a ham or turkey sandwich or even
a burger or brat off the grill. It goes with pretzels, salami, cracker and cheese snack or popcorn snack. On scrambled eggs? Of course. In the salad dressing? You bet.
Martha's Hot Mustard is in a couple of local businesses already. Zippy's Brass Rail, which has a large burger business, Mona's Pub uses it, Foremost
Farms is selling it, Dick's Supermarket and Russ' Tap
The best marketing is what Martha hears from people that have tried it.
""I've never had anyone say they didn't like it"." said Martha.
Even if you don't like mustard, you will love Martha's Hot Mustard.
Friends and family know that to be true and soon others in the area will too.
""Every day we run into someone who wants some of the hot mustard"," said Martha. ""Maury carries some in his truck and I
carry some in the car and a
lot of times we run out of it before we get to town.
Locals can get it at a number of area businesses or from Martha and tourists stopping for a little rest and relaxation on the farm will enjoy it with the large
complimentary breakfast Martha offers at the bed and breakfast.