Behind every idea is a unique story and Andrea Simard’s, owner of Mabs’ Atomic Mustard, is simply out of this world.
Her Swedish grandmother Mabel, long into keeping holiday traditions alive, loved to entertain friends and family with a hearty meal full of potato sausage and meatballs. And, a mustard recipe passed down from her mother Mathilda. This much-loved condiment, made from premium fine ground mustard flour and pure cane sugar, packed a punch to the palate of every guest and was soon decided the mustard was “atomic.” The name stuck and the rest is history.
Simard, who started Mabs’ Atomic Mustard with blessings from her family, explains, “Starting a small business in Northern Michigan has its own set of challenges. Distribution, especially of a refrigerated product and below the 45th parallel, is one. I currently make, market and deliver my mustard.”
Made in small batches at Petoskey Cheese during the evenings, the challenges have paid off. This past December, Simard started online sales and is excited about the future of Mabs’ Mustard.
“I’m fortunate to have customers who love to cook and use Mabs’ in unique ways and am blown away by some of their ideas,” added Simard. “That’s exciting for the future of my product. I’m also looking forward to Petoskey Cheese hosting a ‘Mabs’ Pop-up Kitchen,’ a few Fridays with evening hours for eat-in or take-out dishes featuring our favorite cheeses and Mabs’ Atomic Mustard.”
With an out-of-this-world kick, Simard won’t rule out the possibility of aiming for higher heights for grandmother Mabel’s heirloom mustard.
“I definitely feel possible momentum in the catering or food truck/food hall scene,” Simard said. “I’m very grateful for talented graphic design and savvy business-minded friends who help keep me moving forward.”
When asked about a favorite experience since beginning her business, Simard replied, “when I’m selling at a festival or sampling at a market, and someone sees my logo and tastes the mustard, then says to their friend, ‘Oh gosh…Uncle Gary would LOVE THIS. We need to get some!,’ I feel like I’ve done my best ... and that my Grandma is smiling. She loved to share her mustard and so do I.”
Looking for ways to utilize this magnificent mustard? Simard’s website is chock full of Mabel’s recipes sure to share the heat and tempt the taste buds.
“I’d like to suggest Mabs’ Broccoli Toss — it’s one of my favorites and gives a healthy blast of heat and vitamin C for our lonnnng winter months,” Simard concluded.
Currently, this made-in-Michigan product is available for purchase locally at Coveyou Scenic Farms, Crooked Tree Breadworks, Petoskey Cheese, Plath’s Meats and Toski Sands Market in Petoskey and Lake Street Market in Boyne City as well as online at www.mabsatomicmustard.com. In addition, the Inn at Bay Harbor, Petoskey Pretzel Company and Piper’s Mighty Good Pizza in Harbor Springs are featuring Mabs’ Atomic Mustard to complement their culinary concoctions.
Mabs’ Broccoli Toss
6 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups fresh orange segments, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups dried cherries or cranberries
2/3 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
3 Tablespoons red onion, diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 Tablespoon Mabs’ Atomic Mustard
Place first five ingredients into large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients separately, then pour over and toss well. Cover tightly and chill at least 1 hour, turning upside down occasionally to coat the broccoli.
Written By Kristin Bates, Photos by G. Randall Goss