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Michigan Company with Irish Roots Expands Across State Borders

The Original Irish Mustard

The Original Irish Mustard

Irish Mustard Logo

Irish Mustard Logo

Amazing underdog story! This Michigan small business proves that the American Dream can stay alive with the help of other local small businesses!

DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA, December 2, 2021 / -- Colleen's Irish Mustard started in Michigan in 2017 and is now expanding into Virginia! Founded by Jesse Anton, a Marine vet with no prior business knowledge, and his wife and business partner Michelle; the Antons attribute much of their success to finding the right team of partners as they reflect on the company's growth.

Before the conception of Colleen's, the recipe was an Anton family secret that traced back to the 1800s from Ireland to Perth, Canada, and then to Michigan. Jesse Anton's mother made it for special events and holidays. Later in life, Jesse acquired the recipe. Friends and family often joked about selling it in stores. That idea took 2.5 years to come to fruition with a bottled, labeled, and shelf-ready product; but it was no easy task!

While talking to every point of contact they could find, Jesse and Michelle learned of a Michigan-based co-packer that does no marketing aside from word of mouth for their facilities. They learned that this company was relocating to their neighborhood in Warren, MI! Unfortunately, the company did not offer marketing for products, but the Antons will and determination to ask questions and find answers led them to the source.

Once Colleen's Irish Mustard was able to team up with Pronko Enterprises, Michelle and Jesse quickly realized how much goes into each product that we see on grocery store shelves. From testing ingredients and shelf stability to 14 revisions on labels, making sure that everything was up to FDA standards was a process that they say wouldn't have happened without the help of Al Pronko and his daughter Marie Groom. Without all the information that they had to put forth, Colleen's wouldn't be on shelves today.

Colleen’s partnered with John Hofmann of Fusion Marketing for their logo design where they were amazed by the process. When asked about a timeline, John stated that as a company, Fusion doesn't have set hours. Whenever the designers are feeling creative is when they work. You can't force creativity.

Fusions' way of doing business really stuck with Jesse: "There's something to be said for that. For a lot of people, that would turn them away. They want those hard deadlines. I don't believe in that. I really like that concept; It was one of the most impressive things I've heard. And it's not like he was going to change that for me. I like that too. That was his style. That's how they did it, and I liked that and appreciated that."

Most recently, Jesse and Michelle’s charismatic personalities and need to connect with like-minded people brought them to Apex Gear Company. This website networks veteran-owned products and small businesses. Apex helped the Antons find a passionate Virginia-based small business that started offering the Irish Mustard on October 28th.

After nearly five years of research and networking, Colleen's Irish Mustard is a Michigan small business proving that the American Dream can stay alive with the help of other local small businesses! Owned by a local vet and his wife, the company has hit shelves in its 30th location and crossed the Michigan border, officially selling products in Virginia. The Antons, and Colleen's Irish Mustard, are living proof that small businesses can make it with hard work and determination. And, with its love for those small businesses, Michigan is a fantastic place to start that journey! If you are interested in learning more about Colleen's Irish Mustard you can visit their website.

Jesse Anton
Colleen's Irish Mustard
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