SCRANTON, Pa. — Kristen Langan was looking for a healthy snack when she began experimenting with mustard creations four years ago.

A certified nutritionist and fitness instructor, her “go-to snack” was a carrot stick dipped in mustard. She’d grown bored with the run-of-the-mill flavor varieties she found on grocery store shelves, so she decided to make her own.

“Being in the health field, I wanted a healthy snack that tastes good and is not bad for you,” Langan said.

After many failures, she came up with a unique recipe that tantalized not only her taste buds, but those of everyone who tried it.

Kiki’s Flustered Mustard was born.

Langan, 39, of Scranton, never envisioned she’d become a player in the packaged food industry. A one-woman show, she initially produced about 120 jars of mustard a month, which she created in a home kitchen and sold on her website, at craft fairs and at a few businesses in the Scranton area.

The mustard quickly turned into a must-have, outpacing her ability to keep up with demand. That led her to partner this year with a co-packing company in New York, which mass produced the product.

The company created 600 jars of mustard in its first run. It sold out of most locations within two months, Langan said.

A few jars remained for sale at two businesses, Zummo’s Cafe, 916 Marion St.,

Scranton and Quest Studio, 419 Church St., Jessup, a few weeks ago.

The price varies by location, but it generally runs $8.50 to about $9 a jar.

Langan said she just partnered with a new co-packer located in Pennsylvania. She plans to do another run of about 1,000 jars, which she expects will be available in mid-November on her website and at eight businesses.

She credits the mustard’s popularity to its unique taste and mouth-feel. The taste comes from a mixture of horseradish root, brown sugar, garlic, salt, vinegar and mustard seed and powder. The secret to the mouth-feel is the addition of chickpeas, which give it more texture

“It’s a warmer but sweet mustard unlike anything else out there,” she said.

Linda Nolan of Scranton is among the product’s fans. She recently purchased a jar at a fall festival and took it to a house party.

“It has a zippy, salty and sweet taste. We use it to dip pretzels and different kinds of crackers and cheese,” she said.

The mustard is particularly popular with health conscious people, including runners, Langan said.

“Mustard is terrific to reduce cramping after a long run,” she said.

Currently Langan offers only one flavor, known as the “classic.” She recently developed a second, three-pepper flavor that is slightly more spicy. She expects that to be available soon.

Although sales are growing, the business remains a work in progress. Langan said she’s breaking even at this point. She’s hoping the next run will allow her to expand to more locations, with the ultimate goal of someday getting into major grocery chains.

She’s approaching the expansions cautiously, however.

“I’m taking steps to grow, but I want to make sure I do it the right way,” she said.


Online:

http://bit.ly/2zhiy8u


Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://thetimes-tribune.com/

Author photo
TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER, The (Scranton) Times-Tribune
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.