BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — When you think ‘Western New York,’ it’s hard to not also think of Weber’s Mustard. The famous condiment company created right here in Buffalo is celebrating 100 years in business.
“My mother’s father, my grandfather, Joseph C. Weber started Weber’s Mustard. It was established in 1922,” said Suzanne Desmond, the company’s Vice President.
Originally born in Vienna, Austria, Joseph Weber immigrated to Buffalo when he was 6 years old.
Suzanne, his granddaughter, told News 4 she’s not quite sure where he got the recipe for the mustard, but she has a feeling it was passed down.
“I’m assuming possibly it may have been my great grandmother’s, Regina Weber, maybe possibly a recipe she did on her own and he just went with it,” Suzanne said. “He was probably 21, maybe 20, when he came up with the idea of starting a business…he truly lived the American dream.”
The company is now in its third generation after Suzanne and her husband, Steve Desmond, took over the business 25 years ago.
“We took over a business in ’97 with basically three products: Weber’s mustard, piccalilli relish and we had a line of sweet relish, but it was discontinued a year later because it wasn’t packed by us,” said Steve, the company’s president. “I’m proud to say right now we have 18 lines of products.”
With more than a dozen products, Steve said production comes down to scheduling.
“Generally, Mondays and Tuesdays are line production on our condiments. Wednesdays tend to be our pepper and olive line – a hand-picked line we introduced back in 2010,” he said.
The horseradish mustard, what the Desmond’s call their ‘baby product,’ makes up 80-percent of the company’s business.
“[We produce] 33,000 cases of mustard a year are horseradish mustard. We do about 40,000 cases a year over 18 lines – so the other 17 lines account for 7,000 cases,” Steve said.
With 2022 marking 100 years in business for Weber’s, the company is doing something unique to celebrate, and they’re making sure to tie in a good cause close to Steve and Suzanne’s heart.
“Being a collector of signatures and having met a lot of people over the years, I suggested to Sue that Sue and I signed 100 jars and designated it as 100 years on one side and 1922 to 2022 on the opposite side to release to the public,” Steve said. “The first jar is staying in our foyer and the 100th jar in October is going to be auctioned off with a retro jar signed from 20 years ago – one of the last glass jars we ran…our son Francis has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Autism. The money we raise from the 100 jar is going to research with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.”
The Desmond’s say they’re thankful that the Western New York community continuously rallies around their, and that they wouldn’t have reached this milestone without the area’s support.
“My dad told me years ago, even long before I got involved with Weber’s, he said, ‘do me a favor, if you ever go into business, do me one favor – make a living, don’t get rich.’ And I’ve kept that in my mind through this day,” Steve said. “I don’t care if Weber’s sells for 15 dollars a jar in Florida. But our goal here is to keep it as affordable as we can for the consumer, because they’ve supported us for 100 years.”
Suzanne said she believes her grandfather would be proud of their success.
“I think he would be very humbled. I like to think that he’s looking down from heaven and got a little tear in his eye of pride,” she said. “I think he would have loved my husband dearly, the beautiful job that us as a team have created here, and that we’ve made it to the 100 anniversary. I think it would have brought him to tears.”
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Marlee Tuskes is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.