Entrepreneur From the Archives: Morris Gold's Horseradish Empire

Morris Gold, who was born in Manhattan in 1919, was only 13 years old when his mother asked him to help her bottle her homemade horseradish so it could be sold at local shops. 

The idea: Customers might be willing to pay for bottled horseradish to avoid the stinging tears that come from grating the root. 

The recipe was simple, made from grated horseradish root and mixed with salt and vinegar (plus beets for the milder flavor and red color). 

Root of the Business

In 1955, the mom and pop business moved production to a Brooklyn factory as demand grew. 

Horseradish, traditionally used during Passover Seders, was popular among Jewish American customers and was used in Polish cooking as well as the popular bloody mary.  

They created the slogan ‚ÄúWe do the crying for you‚Äù for their tear-free horseradish, and the brand advertised in prayer books produced by local grocery chains and hosted Miss Horseradish contests. 

Gold Went All In:

  • Visiting horseradish farms

  • Fixing broken machinery himself in the company‚Äôs factory 

  • Never leaving home without a small bottle of horseradish (which he‚Äôd sometimes take swigs of)

By the late 1970s, when Gold‚Äôs two sons and nephews officially took over the company, the humble family business had become a national brand: Gold Pure Food Products Co. 

Big Leagues

By 1994, the company had moved to a 70k-square-foot factory on Long Island. It expanded to offer other condiments and soups, and even became the official mustard of Shea and Yankee stadiums. 

Once the company took off, there was no stopping it. In 2004, the brand was selling 17m jars of horseradish a year. 

Then, in 2015, Gold‚Äôs was acquired by LaSalle Capital, a Chicago-based private investment firm. 

Today, it is still one of the most recognizable condiment brands, from baseball stadiums to dinner tables around the country.

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