Today is National Book Lovers Day! We celebrate the written word and its power to enlighten us, transport us to new places and times, and make us feel generally awesome. Jack Mullins loved books so much that he decided to pen one of his own: A Family Affair – the History of Mullins Food Products. Jack was born in 1924, took over his parents’ small sauce company in the 1950s and expanded it into the booming manufacturing plant it is today. His book is a sort of autobiography which details his young life with his parents and Mullins Tavern, his years as a fighter pilot in the Second World War, growing Mullins Food Products, marrying his soulmate, Joan, and passing the business onto his 11 children.
Mullins Food Products had its humble beginnings when Jack's parents, Harry and Mabel Mullins, began packaging the delicious homemade barbecue sauce they sold at their Chicago Tavern in 1934. The sauce, now known as Prairie Chef, was quite popular in retail and helped the company to land some grocery accounts. In Jack's view, the company was moving along just fine, but he did not have much confidence in its future. However, he turned down an offer to sell it in the late 1960s and never looked back, as he greatly expanded the product offerings and closed account after account. More space was needed to fulfill the ever-growing orders! In 1986, MFP relocated to its current home in Broadview, Illinois and continues to expand. Now a leading private label sauce supplier, Mullins manufactures custom food service formulations for the finest food companies in the world. Without Jack Mullins’ foresight, there would be no manufacturing plant; without Jack Mullins’ book, its remarkable history would soon be forgotten. The pride in the company he fostered practically leaps off each page.
So curl up with your favorite book tonight (perhaps after enjoying some delicious sauce with your meal) and appreciate the effects of good writing!