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Bertman: A Cleveland mustard brand that symbolizes so much more

'You taste our mustard, it's like making memories.'

CLEVELAND — It's a mustard in a league of its own, even when Major League Baseball is put on pause.

Bertman Original Mustard is what many would call Cleveland's favorite condiment. CEO Michael Mintz says he appreciates the love from Northeast Ohioans far and wide.

"When people say they've got it in their refrigerator, I couldn't be more proud of that," he says.

Started right here in Cleveland in 1925, Bertman products can be found in stadiums and stores across the city. And in recent years, they've expanded across the country -- you can now find Bertman Mustard on Amazon, and they're the official mustard at both Goodyear Park in Arizona and the NBC Grill at Universal Studios in Florida and California.

But hitting a home run didn't come overnight. The company was started in founder Joe Bertman's garage. Bertman wasn't satisfied with the yellow mustard being served at Cleveland's League Park, then the home of the Cleveland Indians. So, he came up with something new.

Credit: Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard
Joe Bertman.

"He understood food and came up with this mustard, with the right spices, vinegar, mustard, seed, little salt, and said, I've gotta take this to the Indians," Mintz said. "They tried it. They loved it. It's been there ever since.”

Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard was born -- and the recipe's remained the same ever since. Even when the company switched hands to Mintz's family in 2015.

Credit: Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard
Bertman Ball Park's original jar.

Mintz and his brothers had already dabbled in the world of mustard. They owned a Western branding company that sold a popular spicy mustard product. They connected with the Bertman family in 2014 and then officially bought the company the next year. Mintz says it was a match made in mustard heaven.

"We knew something about mustard and the families really kind of aligned. They saw that we could carry the torch and, and it all happened," he said.

Now, Bertman is looking for grow. They're in the process of expanding into other markets. They even have plans to bring back that spicy hot mustard. 

And, this year will be a big one for Bertman as Cleveland's baseball team kicks off their first official season as the Cleveland Guardians. That name change means change for Bertman, with plans to redesign their old bottles with the new Guardians logo. They expect the new bottles to be ready for the first game.

Mintz showed 3News around one of their local warehouses - Central Kitchen, where Chef and Co-Manufacturing Director Barry Jarvis even whipped up some special recipes using their signature Ballpark and Great Lakes Dortmunder Beer varieties. 

"This stuff can go to Alaska," Mintz said.” "Or Hawaii even. We’ve got fans, fortunately, all over the country.”

Generations of Clevelanders far and wide, all experiencing a mustard that symbolizes so much more. 

"You taste our mustard, it's like making memories," Mintz said. "People remember having a hot dog at the ballpark with their mom or dad putting this mustard on it, and they remember that flavor.”

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