What It's About
A trip to Ireland leads to an unexpected (and spicy) side hustle!
Words of Wisdom
Looking to break into the food industry? Take some advice from Sarah and Jesse:
"Try to find a niche. Perfect your recipe and then begin looking into what it would take to put your product on the market. Also, always hire a graphic designer. People try to save money in that area and I think it's a fatal mistake. There are a lot of steps to sell food products, but it's doable."
When Sarah and Jesse aren’t making mustard, they are rocking out! Both of them are in rock bands on the side.
Notes from Chris
Sarah and Jesse Darling’s love for mustard first began when they took a trip to Ireland. They noticed that all of the pubs had delicious, house-made mustard. It was the perfect condiment—nothing like the watery, bright yellow stuff they were used to back in the U.S. It made no sense to them. If every pub had their own unique recipe, it couldn’t be that hard to make, right? And if so … why wasn’t it more popular in the United States? Four years later, they moved to Portland, Oregon and made friends with people who were interested in meat smoking, homebrewing, and pickling. Around the same time, Jesse was sent on multiple work trips to Germany. He started bringing home different kinds of mustard for sampling, and their passion was reignited. Jesse was ready to try to make his own but quickly realized why there was so little quality mustard in the United States. Not only was it hard to get just right, but people were protective over their recipes. He put on his game face, and for ten years, tested out different variables. He mixed the famous mustard seed with wine, beer, and even champagne. He tried cooking it for a long time, a short time, and not cooking it at all. He experimented with putting honey in it. Finally, in 2016, after a decade of mediocre mustard, he had perfected his recipe. Jesse knew that he had a fantastic product and that there were very few competitors. He had a feeling that they could sell it. Around the same time, Sarah and Jesse were ready for some life changes. They decided to move from the city to the countryside and bought a property with a big barn. Sarah was working full time as a business analyst, and Jesse had been a stay-at-home dad with their son for four years—which gave him some time to work on crafting that perfect recipe. He was now ready to go back into the workforce, so the two made the decision to switch roles. Once Sarah left her job, her business skills really got the mustard seed rolling. This was especially valuable because unlike lots of other products, mustard wasn’t just something that they could throw onto a website and sell. They had to complete several steps to make sure their food product was legally compliant—which, by the way, they had decided to call Sasquatch Mustard, after the Pacific Northwest legend. But now they’re well underway. Since their launch, they’ve made about $35,000. Soon, they will have completely paid off all of their startup costs and mustard up a profit. They’re also releasing more flavors and getting ready to launch their first marinade, just in time for barbeque season.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Darling Foods: Snag your own jar of Sasquatch Mustard over on Sarah and Jesse's website!
- Salesman’s Spicy Side Hustle Serves Up Serious Sales: After hosting a popular Super Bowl party, a St. Louis salesman brings his fiery-hot, yet extra-flavorful hot sauce to the market
- Blogger Turns Leftover Cherries Into $5,000/Month Income: After being diagnosed with diabetes, a food blogger creates a sugar-free line of ketchup alternatives
- NYC Banker Launches All-Natural, Drinkable Pickle Brine: When a NYC banker sets out to create a drinkable pickle juice, it turns into a big dill. You’ll relish the lessons from this story!
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