Gulden's is best known for its spicy brown mustard, which includes a blend of premium mustard seeds and spices gathered from many parts of the world. The classic Gulden's mustard recipe has stayed a well-kept secret for more than 140 years.
Charles Gulden was born on September 23, 1843, in New York City. By the age of 15, he was employed as an engraver. Two years later, he went to work for his uncle, who owned the Union Mustard Mills. After serving with a reserve regiment at Gettysburg during the Civil War, he returned briefly to his uncle's shop.
Gulden opened his own mustard company in 1867. He chose Elizabeth Street in New York for his shop, near South Street Seaport, where he could easily obtain the mustard seeds and rare spices necessary to mix with vintage vinegars.
By 1883, Gulden's product line included 30 mustard varieties and other products, including olives, capers, cottonseed oil, catsup, and Warwickshire sauce. That year, he moved down the street into a six-story building.
Drawing from his earlier experience as an engraver, Charles Gulden once asked his brother: "Do you think it would help if we were to attach a spoon to each bottle of No. 6, no extra charge?" Soon, the Guldens were attaching fine, imported spoons to each bottle. He increased the visibility of his innovative idea by distributing a catalog of his products printed in color.
In 1891, Charles Gulden, Jr. assumed control of the company. Upon his death in 1911, his brother Frank Gulden was named president. It remained under family control until 1962, when the founder's grandson - also named Charles Gulden - orchestrated its sale to American Home Foods Company. The company later became part of International Home Foods.
Gulden's mustard won prestigious awards in 1869 and 1883. It also earned awards at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, the Paris Exposition in 1900, the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia in 1926, and the Napa Valley Mustard Festival in 2005.
Gulden's mustard is now made in Milton Pennsylvania.