Mustard and Co.

Inaugural blog on the new fresh and crispy website! Here's the lowdown with what you can expect in here. I've decided that it would be fun to do occasional interviews with local businesses as a regular part of my blog. Ten interview questions, a little nice-to-meet-you with the owners, and a few photos from my visit with them. In addition to that, I plan on writing blog posts like a peek behind the scenes at my shoots, what to expect at a family session, or amuse you with hilarious stories about how my toddler dropped my 50mm macro lens in the toilet. Theoretically. He hasn't done that - yet.    

So. Let the games begin. Who's the lucky business that gets the first interview? The dudes over at Mustard and Co., that's who! By dudes I mean Justin and Bryan who work together to create the amazing ambrosia known as...mustard! I swung by their base of operations in Seattle's Georgetown and they kindly gave me a tour of their facility where the magic happens. It's always so cool to talk to people who are passionate about that they do - and that's these guys. They walked me through the entire process as we discussed ingredients, distribution, and process. I had a million questions. Here's one knowledge nugget they laid upon me: they hand-grind all their mustard seed! The grinder gave the room such a cool vibe. [images below] They were gracious enough to give me samples of their entire product line. Once I cracked open the lid of their Garlic Dill mustard and crammed a pretzel in, I had never felt more alive than I did at that moment. Well, until I actually took a bite and then I felt like this was one of the best decisions of my life. You gotta try it, guys - it's crazy good.   

Justin on the left and Bryan on the right

Justin on the left and Bryan on the right

Check these guys out and support local business owners! We can all strive to step up our mustard game for the next holiday party. Yes Janine, I'm talking to you. 

Here are a few additional questions that I emailed to Bryan. 

1. Would you be in support of a global re­naming of "Mustard Gas" to the more appropriate "Sauerkraut Gas" ­ since nobody in their right mind likes sauerkraut?

WHAT!? I love sauerkraut :)

2. Do you think people who dip pretzels into mustard at parties are simply being overly polite and should instead just stick their entire fist in and go to town?

I think you’re onto something. I’ll give it a shot next time I have the opportunity and report back.

3. Does it drive you nuts that ketchup is always trying to share your limelight?

The way I see it, ketchup just makes us look good. To be fair, there are some quality ketchups out there, say a curry ketchup or a heirloom ketchup, but for the most part, ketchup allows mustard to shine!

4. How many mortar and pestles do you personally own?

Just one, yet I wouldn’t be opposed to owning more. I’m a big fan of simply engineered tools and designs, and if the mortar and pestle isn’t that, than I’m not sure what is. And they’re beautiful.

5. In Matthew 13:31–32 Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches." My question is, do you think Jesus would prefer your Honey Curry or Black Truffle mustard more?

I’m guessing he’d would take the two, stir them together, and make a miracle mustard. Maybe that’ll be our next variety?

6. You have your own manufacturing process that ensures the mustard seed is never subjected to heat ­in order to preserve it's spicy oils. Would you ever consider bringing on Marvel's Ghost Rider as an employee if he had good references from his previous employers?

I’ll be honest, I had to do my research to answer this question ­my pop culture knowledge is quite limited.
To answer the question, most definitely... as our PR spokesperson.

[note: Just Google 'Ghost Rider' - I'd post an image of him, but I don't need a copyright lawsuit on my plate.]

7. Follow up question: What about Nicholas Cage, even if he had spotty references from previous employers?

Again, certainly. He would be our celebrity chef, ­he’s a famous cook, right? ;)

8. What is one of your favorite non-Guy Fiery recipes that incorporates your mustard as an ingredient?

I’d have to say using our Honey Curry mustard on grilled or baked salmon. The flavors come together exceptionally well and it’s quintessential Northwest fare.

9. You use organic, premium, extra ­virgin olive oil in your mustards. On a scale of 1-­10 (with ten being the most) how much does it annoy you that Rachel Ray calls it EVOO?

Yea that doesn’t really flow of the tongue. I imagine Pee­wee Herman saying that.

10. Why mustard?

Justin first dabbled in mustard years and years ago. Picture it: Wisconsin. Small town Justin finds himself staring at the lengthy list of ingredients on a bottle of fancy shmancy honey mustard. Perplexed at why a seemingly simple sauce would require so many additives, he ran home, did some research and whipped up his first batch. Over the next handful of years Justin took to making mustard as more of a hobby, testing it out on friends and family until he packed up and moved to Seattle. Enter: Bryan. The two start working together at Molly's. Fresh out of college and intrigued by Justin's mustard making talents, Bryan suggests turning Justin's hobby into a small business. With support from Molly's ­ offering after hours kitchen space ­Mustard and Co. was born in 2013. Now, a couple of years later, what started out as a two man operation has quickly evolved into a 3 person powerhouse in the world of small batch accoutrements. That’s the long story. The short story is that mustard, in our opinion, is the most interesting condiment we use in modern day. The vast number of varieties and nuances you can add to mustard make it the most interesting to us.