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MADE IN IDAHO: Mustard-making goes from mom-and-pop shop to full-time business

Posted: 8:10 AM, Nov 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-13 22:36:40Z

Bog Wagner is a guy who really, really knows his mustard. "From our Original, our Dill, Smoky Hot, Jalapeno, Screamin' Hot Habanero, Atomic Lava. I have 10 flavors of mustard now."

Wagner and his wife Carrie are the creative force behind local farmers market favorite Wagner's Idaho Mustard , started by Wagner years ago after his father ran into a condiment conundrum.

"My dad loves the old fashioned German style spicy mustard," says Wagner, but living in southern California, Wagner's dad couldn't find any good, authentic, German-style mustard, so Wagner took matters into his own hands. "Being the good son, I decided to order some mustard seed and started messing around with it."

Turns out, Wagner had a bit of a gift when it came to mustard-making. "[Dad] said it was better than the stuff he grew up with." Now, many years and nearly a dozen flavors later, what had been a "little Mom and Pop company" has grown into a full-time business.

To avoid the high cost of building their own manufacturing facility, the Wagners set up shop every couple of months at the University of Idaho's Food Technology Center in Caldwell, where they can churn out up to 1,200 jars in a day.

But the condiment line isn't just made here in Idaho, it's grown here too, though Wagner has to put a few miles on the ol' mustard-mobile to get the seeds he needs. "The mustard seed comes from American Falls, we get it directly from the farmers there," Wagner explains. "I drive over, pick it up, and bring it back." The mustard seed can't be grown in SW Idaho due to its cross-pollination tendencies with other crops grown in the Treasure Valley, like rapeseed and canola.

Down the road, Wagner says he may be open to adding more items to his product line, but when it comes to picking a favorite from the ones he's got now: "I don't have any favorites at all because they're like my children."

You can find Wagner's Idaho Mustard at many of our local farmer's markets over the summer months, at holiday shows during the fall, and even on a grocery store shelf near you, including at the brand new Albertsons on Broadway and Beacon. You can also click here to learn more about their flavors and where to shop.