Everyone talks about “reinventing themselves.” We’ve done it. Big time.
Since opening to the public in 1992, the Mustard Museum has been a for-profit corporation. Although most museums in the U.S. are nonprofits, we have tried to support the museum activities from sales in our gift shop and online. It has been a monumental challenge.
Our inspiration has been the speech that Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) gives to Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) in the movie, Field of Dreams. He encourages Ray to keep his baseball diamond cut from prime Iowa farmland:
“Ray, people will come, Ray. . . They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. People will most definitely come.”
Fine inspiration, but a lousy business model. After nearly 19 years of pursuing this wistful dream, it is time to reinvent it.
On January 28, 2011, we incorporated the new NONPROFIT entity, “National Mustard Museum, Inc.” The existing corporation will remain, selling mustards, mustard souvenirs, books, etc., in the gift shop and here online, and paying a percentage of sales to the new nonprofit museum.
The new National Mustard Museum will run the museum portion of the operation. This will afford the nonprofit the opportunity to raise funds through donations and fundraising events.
We need your help in keeping the dream alive of making the National Mustard Museum a true food treasure and destination. You, or your business, can make a difference in keeping the American museum scene vibrant and, yes, a little bit funnier, by supporting the new NATIONAL MUSTARD MUSEUM, INC., through your online purchases and donations.
From $25 to $1,000, any amount is greatly appreciated. Viva las mustard!