PUTTING MUSTARD ON MY DOG
Saturday morning turned out to be quite lovely. It was a sunny day in downtown Chicago. High 70’s, low humidity. I hop out on my apartment balcony, breathe in the fresh air—I couldn’t be happier for a relaxing weekend. I get ready and hop on the El, on my way to the recently opened Whole Foods on North Avenue—100,000 square feet of awesomeness and just another gem in a new city where I’ve called home for less than 60 days. A welcome change from the less manageable Manhattan, where gigantic grocery stores are hard to come by.
I walk in and am immediately side tracked by the stand out front selling fresh cilantro from a nearby farm. After buying a bundle, the nice gentleman gave me a free T-shirt that I’ve managed to wear to sleep every night since. So far my trip is going great. I head inside and am immediately amazed by the fresh produce to my right lining the aisles.
But I’m on a mission to find Mustard Girl, who is doing a product demo all day near the condiment aisle, serving up her Sweet N’ Fancy Yellow, Sweet N’ Spicey Honey, Stoneground Deli and American Dijon flavors with bite-size samples of cheese and pork. As soon as I turn the corner, there she is in her dirndl dress and gold clogs—her signature Mustard Girl outfit that is also featured on the front label of each bottle.
At 10:30 in the morning, her display area is already attracting shoppers—young, old and everything in between. Curious folks tasted the mustard and were happy to hear it is made locally in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., has fewer calories than traditional mustards, and is all natural and gluten free. Sold for just $2.39 a bottle at all Whole Foods locations in Chicago, you really can’t go wrong with Mustard Girl. Just ask the folks who swept the bottles off the shelf that day, surely stocking up on America’s favorite condiment for football season, Bears and Packers fans alike. Brats anyone?
After assisting Mustard Girl with a press photo shoot, it was time to do a little shopping of my own. Indian was on the menu tonight and what better place to stock up on spices for Vindaloo sauce than Whole Foods? Being the foodie that I am, I naturally had to try every sample in the store—sourdough bread, goat’s milk ice cream, chocolate truffles, you name it. My belly was surely satisfied and I hadn’t spent a dime—until check out that is. Definitely spend a few hours at Whole Foods if you go, and you never know, Mustard Girl may be there spreading some sunshine. Be sure to ask her how she started her company from the “seed” up. Her story will inspire you.