STURGEON BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — While living on an old farm back in 1994, Rita Hunt remembers getting venison sausage from her friends. And she wanted to add some extra flavor.
"I started making little batches of mustard," she said. "My sister gave me the recipe and made little batches of mustard."
Shortly after that, she and her husband Dave turned their version of the condiment into a business.
"From six pints on the stove to 50 gallons," he said.
Starting out, winning an award for their product seemed like a long shot for the couple.
"There was several trips to the dump until we did find the right mustard," Dave said.
Now, 26 years later, their recipe is in the global spotlight.
Door County Mustard just took home the bronze medal at the World-Wide Mustard Competition.
"It's been by word of mouth and it's been a pretty good ride," Dave said. "We never expected to get third in the world."
The award was presented by the National Mustard Museum for the 'Sweet-Hot' category.
"We're a small company," Dave said. "It's my wife and I. Our daughter and my sister help us."
Their mustard is processed, which means it's cooked. The family says that method gives it a unique taste.
"We have to pay attention," Dave said. "Otherwise, we burn it. And we've burned a few."
Ever since Door County Mustard secured its trademark in 1996, the business has managed to distribute to 17 retailers.
"No plans to get any bigger," Dave said. "We've both had careers prior, and we're getting old so we don't want to work that hard."
The hunts do plan to pass the now prize-winning company down to their children.
"We'll see what happens, and low and behold, we got a third," Dave said. "We're very happy about that and just glad we are where we are after 26 years."