Red Shed brings a new innovation to MMFEC processing
Red Shed got its start during a tumultuous time for small businesses; at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was late 2019, and Kim Cegler decided it was time to take her 30-year infamous mustard recipe to the next level. Unbeknown to her, the world was on the cusp of a global pandemic that was about to upend the global economy.
“Covid was a rough time to start,” Cegler explained. She had only just incorporated her business a few months before the quarantine, and she still needed food safety certification and was working on product development. The resources she expected to have at her disposal were out of reach, so Kim reached out to MMFEC in search of guidance and assistance.
MMFEC knew the shutdown would affect food supply and kept their services available to local food producers to keep the local food system providing for the community. MMFEC was able bridge the gap in Kim’s resource allocation and connected her to online educational resources to understand food laws and processing regulations and enrolled her in an online food safety training certification course. As Cegler and MMFEC worked together to develop a processing technique amid quarantine, they realized a symbiotic nature in their relationship.
Kim needed a hot water canning process for her Cowboy Candy Sweet Pickle Jalapenos, and MMFEC had not yet established such a process. Kim tirelessly researched and investigated equipment options, and in the end, was able to establish a new hot water bath canning process for the facility. “The staff kept me encouraged,” Kim explained, as she described how her and business partner worked to craft tools unique to the process that “don’t exist anywhere,” she said.
The Red Shed process involves two large stainless steel 13-gallon canning pots that can fit multiple layers of jars. Steel plates were cut to fit between the layers of jars and a hook was engineered to manipulate the plates safely during the process. “Now that we have Kim’s hot water bath dialed in, we can adapt this process to future clients who also need a hot water bath in their production,” said Joel Carlson, Lead MMFEC Processor.
Since its inception in 2020, Kim has grown her product line to include her original recipe, Red Shed Mustard, Whiskey Kick Mustard, Cowboy Candy Sweet Pickled Jalapenos, and Gene’s BBQ Sauce. “The Cowboy Candy is to die for! It is my favorite Red Shed product.” said Joel Carlson.
Cegler plans to expand her product line to include more BBQ sauce recipes, pickled beets, beet jelly, and brandied peaches in the coming year. She someday hopes to have her own kitchen and store front where she can promote other locally made products and incorporate smoked meats and sausages. And when Kim reflects on her experience with MMFEC, she says, “I couldn’t have done it without MMFEC. It was well rounded and couldn’t have been better for me.”
You can now find Red Shed mustard in various retail locations in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon, and she will ship anywhere in the U.S. if you order on her website https://redshedtradingcompany.com/.