Old Mule began as homemade Christmas gifts for family and friends during the 1980’s. Over the years we (Cheryl & Steve) refined our recipe and were eventually prodded by family and friends into starting a business. That was 1990. It only took us another 6 years to actually get our business off the ground (two new careers and 3 children later). Our children have grown up in the business (though, sometimes less enthusiastically than other times) and have been able to learn everything from cooking and maintenance to book-keeping, marketing and tax law. And always, working with people! Our family and community have always been priorities as our business continues to grow.
What's in the name...
The name “Old Mule” came out of an appreciation for the working mules of the past. Our parents and grandparents told stories of the mules with which they farmed for many years. We were looking for a good name that tied to our farming background and the farm mules that were once so common (Cheryl’s father wanted to name her after his favorite childhood mule, but her mother forbid it….but that’s another story… see the CBS News link… https://www.cbs.com/shows/48_hours/video/cHfYghWffA_i1yMWm9mp8PJrqZZ8tur9/from-fighting-crime-to-making-bbq-sauce/). In keeping with that era, we package Old Mule Sauce in a style reminiscent of the old time general store.
Today, we continue to cook Old Mule ourselves on our family farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. It seems few companies actually MAKE what they sell or put their label on. Since our beginning, this “made by our family” principle has been important to us (though not always easy). Because of this, we take great pride in our products! We do not try to be “all things to all people” or set a “new North American record for sales growth”. Our goal is simply to provide our customers with a unique, high-quality sauce that will add something special to their gatherings and meals with friends and family.
What’s in a name…
We (Steve and Cheryl) have both had long careers in law enforcement. In early 2015 CBS News did a story on their show 48 Hours about one of Steve’s last cases (“The Ultimatum”). They also did a small extra about Old Mule Sauce and how we came up with the name. The link is to the short video that CBS News filmed on our farm about Old Mule.