Eastport mustard makers celebrate international honors

Posted March 03, 2009, at 6:48 p.m.

EASTPORT, Maine — Raye’s Mustard Mill once again has won international acclaim, this time for two of the stone-ground mustards produced in their authentic turn-of-the-20th-century mill in Eastport.

Karen and Kevin Raye, proprietors of the historic Eastport mill, received word last week that Raye’s “Down East Schooner” Mustard has earned the gold medal in the Classic American Yellow Mustard category at the 2009 World-Wide Mustard Competition in Napa Valley, Calif. Meanwhile, Raye’s “Winter Garden” Mustard, noted for its dill, garlic and celery accents, won the bronze medal in the Herb Mustard category.

This year’s medals are the latest in a long line of honors and accolades for North America’s only remaining traditional stone-ground mustard mill.

The World-Wide Mustard Competition is held annually with the world’s leading mustards competing for honors. Down East Schooner has won a gold medal three of the last four years, and various Raye’s Mustards have won well over 40 prestigious national and international awards in the past few years.

“We are thrilled to continue Raye’s winning tradition,” said Karen Raye in a press release. “It’s a very competitive business, so we’re delighted that our mustards continue to stand out year after year. It’s a wonderful achievement for a little family-run mustard mill in Down East Maine, and it’s great news as we work to increase our national distribution and sales.”

“In this challenging economy, it’s great to receive this recognition,” Kevin Raye added in the release. “These medals are a tribute not only to our unique and authentic stone-grinding process, but also to our terrific crew and the standards of excellence and quality that they work so hard to help us achieve every day. We’re proud of our product and the people who help us produce it!”

A working museum, Raye’s Mustard Mill uses a cold-grind process developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Kevin and Karen Raye are the fourth generation of Rayes to own and operate the mill, which was originally built to supply Maine’s once-thriving sardine industry. The mill features the Pantry Store, a retail outlet and gift shop. Free tours are available.

For information, visit www.rayesmustard.com or call 800-853-1903.

The medals will be presented at a March 13 ceremony at Black Stallion Winery in Napa, Calif.

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