The year 2012 marked a significant milestone for one well-known Buffalo business, a company now just 10 short years away from hitting the century mark!
Heintz & Weber Co., Inc., was founded in 1922 at the Broadway Market by Joseph C. Weber and John Heintz. Heintz, no relation to the H.J. Heinz Company of Pittsburgh, was bought out by Weber in 1926, and the company has remained family owned and operated in Buffalo ever since.
In the late 1930s, Heintz & Weber Co. moved to a four-floor manufacturing facility on Louisiana Street in South Buffalo. Fondly known by Buffalonians as the “pickle plant” from the 1930s through the 1950s, Weber gained notoriety and success by supplying more than 300 mom-and-pop delis throughout Western New York with more than 80 products — including 10 varieties of pickles — along with olives, sauerkraut and even prune butter!
But it was his “baby,” Weber's Brand Horseradish Mustard, that eventually became the foundation for the business. Weber also created the slogan and musical jingle, “A Pickle in the Middle and Weber’s on Top,” which still remains on all 16-ounce Weber’s Mustard cases to this day.
Much of the company’s appeal lies in product tradition, the classic yellow color and timeless gourmet flavor. Weber’s Brand Horseradish Mustard has been a secret family recipe since its inception, and until 1980 every jar was individually packed and hand-labeled. Heintz & Weber Co. currently ships more than 2,000 cases annually across the United States and beyond to former Buffalonians who can’t live without their Weber's.
Weber’s Mustard remains the top-selling mustard in Western New York. Mail order sales continue to grow by 25 percent annually, with 80 percent of all mail orders shipping to new Weber's Mustard fans — a fact that bodes well for the future of the company.
Weber left control of the company to his granddaughters, Suzanne and Laura Weimer, at the time of his passing in 1984. In early 1997, Suzanne and her husband Steven Desmond took control of day-to-day operations, and took full ownership 10 years later.
“We have made a promise to our loyal customers and to our family that we will continue to carry forward the small company traditions, appeal and personality that have made Weber's Mustard number one,” said Weber’s President Steven Desmond. “Additionally, we are striving to build solid sales regionally and beyond. New production operations, several new product introductions and a new manufacturing facility that we opened on Reading Avenue in South Buffalo in 2002 are helping us keep that promise.”
As sales have grown, so has the Weber’s product line, which in addition to a variety of mustards and relishes also includes four delicious varieties of Francisco Style Pepperoncini and Francisco Style Hot Sicilian Flavored Olives.
Also in 2012, Steven Desmond, along with his son Francis, published their first book titled “A Life With A Purpose.” The book showcases photography by Steven and artwork created by now 14-year-old Francis, who was diagnosed in 2003 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Since the release of the book in March, the Desmond’s and Heintz & Weber have raised and donated approximately $7,500 through book sales to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Suneel’s Light — A Cure for Duchenne.
“Since he was two years old, Francis has been an incredible artist,” said his father. “His words are spoken through his drawings every time he touches a pencil, pen, crayon, marker or other mixed media to a piece of paper, canvas or wall. This is a book I never wanted to write nor publish, but it’s a visual story that needs to be told. There is no other book out there quite like this and all money raised through the sale of the book will is going to neuromuscular disease research.”
Copies of the book are available for $30 at Heintz & Weber, located at 150 Reading St. in Buffalo, or $35.25, which includes U.S. shipping. Checks can be made payable to Heintz & Weber and mailed to: A Life With A Purpose, Heintz & Weber, 150 Reading St., Buffalo, NY 14220.
For more information about the Heintz & Weber Co., please visit http://webersmustard.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 852-7171. You can also follow Weber’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Webersmustard for frequent updates.