Next week marks 25 years.
After months of planning and preparation, the Mustard Museum was almost ready to open — exactly on schedule — on Monday, April 6, 1992. I remember stocking the shelves the day before, when an insistent knock on the front door grabbed my attention. The man at the door was waving a twenty dollar bill at me. I unlocked the door.
“Are you open?” he asked.
“Well, I’m planning on opening tomorrow.”
“I won’t be here tomorrow. I want to buy some mustard today. So are you open or not?”
“I guess we’re open.”
Sales for the day: about a hundred dollars.
That was our not so grand and unexpected opening, April 5, 1992, at 109 E, Main Street, in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. We had fewer than 1,400 mustards in the collection (we now have nearly 6,000) and only a handful of old mustard tins. Help us celebrate the 25th anniversary of America’s favorite condiment museum with your good wishes, purchases, and donations to the nonprofit wing of the National Mustard Museum.
So do you think that guy pictured knew the amazing adventures the next 25 years would bring? (Yes, that’s the Curator, circa 1992).
Life is a lot like mustard. Sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes it’s rough. Sometimes it’s sweet, sometimes it’s not. Our twenty-five years brings back another memory. The day after the museum first opened was the day I said goodbye to Nellie, the sweetest dog that ever lived. Nellie spend many nights with me as I worked on preparing the space for what would become an international food icon. I sanded, I painted, and Nellie sat by, silently cheering me on.
Nellie is pictured with her best friend, Theodore. They slept together, took walks together, and even ate together. Nellie waited until the day the museum opened to go and in her own canine way said, “Okay, boss, I got you here, now it’s up to you.”
Here’s to Nellie and all of our four-legged friends. Twenty-five people years! That would be 175 years in dog speak. Stay tuned…