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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JOSEPH BERTMAN, INC. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JOSEPH BERTMAN, INC., is a wholesale grocery firm best known for their Bertman's Original Ball Park Mustard. The company was founded in 1920 by JOSEPH BERTMAN† who was born in Lublin, Poland, and came to Cleveland as a child with his parents. He began the company in a garage at the Bertman home at E. 147th near Kinsman, where spices and pickles were processed and packaged. The firm relocated to 653 E. 103rd by the mid-1930s, and was then known as the Bertman Pickle Co. Soon afterward, the company relocated to 2180 E. 76th near Cedar. It is now located at 7777 Grand Avenue.

The products carried by the company (as well as the company's name) have varied over the years. Among the items wholesaled have been pickles, salad dressings, spices, coffees, teas, and canned and dried foods. The company has specialized in different products at different times. Joseph Bertman died in 1988, at the age of 86.

Bertman's Original Ball Park Mustard is the company's best known product. Bertman himself said that the Cleveland Stadium was his first customer in 1932, but some sources indicate that the mustard was first sold at LEAGUE PARK baseball games in 1938. The spicy, tan mustard, considered by some to be the best available, is custom-blended from a secret recipe. Until the early 1970s it was only sold in gallons, but afterwards was carried by supermarkets. It was available at the Cleveland Stadium as well as the new baseball park, Jacobs Field.

Last Modified: 27 Jan 2003 08:59:39 PM

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