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Bertman Ball Park Mustard

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OUR grandfather, Joseph Bertman, originally made the mustard in the garage behind his house in the Kinsman neighborhood in Cleveland.  He made it primarily for League park which was one of his best customers.  He made it in glass gallon jars which were returned, washed and reused.  He did not put a name on this product for many years.

 

He continued to sell it to League Park and naturally carried it over to Municipal stadium when it opened.  The concessions in the ballpark remained customers for the entire time Municipal stadium was open.  Even when there was some confusion amongst Clevelanders, Bertman Ball Park Mustard was the only Brown Mustard used for almost the entire time it was open.

 

When Cleveland was considering opening a new Ball Park for the Indians, Our mother, Patricia Bertman Mazoh became heavily involved in The Gateway Committee.  It was only natural that She was there when Jacobs field opened.  We have stayed with them as the Ballpark has changed its name to Progressive field, and plan to continue partnering with the Indians.

 

Grandpa did not pursue retail sales until the 1970’s.  At that point, a young man suggested putting his mustard into small bottles and selling it to the local restaurants and grocery stores.  My grandfather sold mustard to him for him to resell.  Joe Bertman was an old-fashioned businessman that thought a handshake was a contract.  Unfortunately, they had a falling out after a few years and he found that his business associate had copyrighted the name that his product was informally known as for years.  The associate took his copyrighted label and set up a new company.  Because he never made the mustard, he did not have the recipe and process that keeps it distinctive.  Bertman Ball Park Mustard is manufactured almost exactly the same way that it was in the 1920’s with quality ingredients starting with vinegar.  It is not what is in a name, rather what is in the bottle.  Joe wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

It is best known for being used on hot dogs.  It is also excellent on corned beef or any other deli meats.  It is wonderful on chicken, or as a coating for a  pork roast.  It is also great to dip pretzels into (especially the soft pretzels at Progressive field) and even makes a great dip for a vegetable tray.