Mustard running dry in Mount Horeb - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Mustard running dry in Mount Horeb


From the simple to the oddball and from the brandname to the foreign, the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum and Gift Shop is overflowing with mustard.

Between the gift shop, displays, and storeage rooms, there are 40,000 jars inside the world's largest mustard museum, said owner Barry Levenson.

That status has made it an attraction for out of town visitors who stroll through the western Dane County community.  "Sometimes I have mustard on my face, but I've never seen this much mustard," said Larry Nowakowski from Pittsburgh.

After 16 years on Main Street in Mount Horeb, however, the mustard appears to be running dry in this village.

The Middleton city council voted 6-2 Tuesday night approving a financial package to woo Levenon's Mustard Museum to the corner of Parmenter and Hubbard.  The package includes a $1.4 million TIF district at the site of the former antique mall, along with $50,000 in moving expenses.

Levenson said he saw he saw the empty building for lease last April and jumped on the opportunity.  "As it turns out, the owner is as crazy as I am, and he shares the same mustard vision, as I have of what the Mustard Museum could be."

Levenson won't say what plans he has, other than it will be more interactive.  "And you're just going to have to trust me on this," he adds.

Leaders in Mount Horeb were subdued, if not speechless.

"I think it's a little somber out here, I think we don't know how to process everything," said Mount Horeb Chamber of Commerce executive director Melissa Theisen.

Theisen said the Mustard Museum was a huge draw for the village.  "One in three or four persons who walk through our doors would ask where the Mustard Museum was," she said.

"So this has been a very difficult, very difficult decision to make," said Levenson.  He said he had looked at other cities as well, including one out of state, for other possible relocation sites.

"I wish them success in a new location," said Leonard Sosnowski, a town of Middleton resident, who visited the store Wednesday.

"I'll be buying mustard from them," said his wife Mary Ellen Sosnowski.

Levenson said details with the lease in Middleton and architectural work must still be finalized.  Levenson hopes to move there in October 2009.

Now the town synonymous with the museum will have to cope, since Mount Horeb could no longer cut the mustard.

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