Monday, August 22, 2022

Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard

Bertman Foods Co. was started in the 1920’s by Joseph “Joe” Bertman. Born in Lublin, Poland in 1902, Joseph Bertman was 6 when he immigrated to Cleveland.

He began the company in a garage at the Bertman home at East 147th Street near Kinsman, where spices and pickles were processed and packaged. He would rise at 4 a.m. every morning to begin peddling his products.

Bertman was an old-fashioned businessman who could be making sales calls, loading trucks, reviewing books, or buying produce on any day. The firm relocated to 653 E. 103th Street by the mid-1930s, and was then known as the Bertman Pickle Co. Bertman supplied food products to a variety of institutions, caterers, and ball parks -- including League Park and later to Cleveland Municipal Stadium, home to the Cleveland Indians.

Bertman's Original Ball Park Mustard is the company's best-known product. Bertman wasn't satisfied with the yellow mustard being served at Cleveland's League Park, then the home of the Cleveland Indians. So, he came up with something new. Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard was born -- and the recipe's remained the same ever since.

“Ballpark mustard” has been a fixture at the city’s baseball games since the 1930s, making its path through the various homes of the Cleveland Indians and finding its way into everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to homemade barbecue sauces at the city’s various restaurants today.

Until the early 1970s it was only sold in gallons, but afterwards was carried by supermarkets. It was available at the Cleveland Stadium as well as the new baseball park.

Bertman himself said Cleveland Stadium was his first customer in 1932, but some sources indicate the mustard was first sold at League Park baseball games in 1938.
Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard