My Grandma Bish made homemade catsup from fresh tomatoes and onions grown in her Pennsylvania garden. Using the tomatoes left over after she had canned the juice, sauce, and whole tomatoes, she bottled her catsup in returnable soda bottles and capped them with her own bottle capper. Each year my family would receive one or two cartons of twelve bottles at the end of the canning season.
As kids, my brothers and I loved our grandma's catsup and rationed it to make it last the whole year. I scolded them and my mom, who used it in a variety of recipes, for "wasting" it and would even hide a bottle or two in our basement to keep some in reserve!
At about age ten, I informed my grandma that someday I was going to manufacture her catsup for all of America to enjoy. Then, as at other times when I reminded her of my dream, she just laughed at me with a skeptical but loving grin.
Several years before her death in 1997, Grandma Bish stopped making catsup. My mom, who grew up having to smell tomatoes stewing all night long, refused to make it for me except on rare occasions.
Years later my wife Sue succumbed to my pleas to make Grandma's catsup from a basket of overripe tomatoes. Her first attempt was remarkably good, despite the fact that neither of us knew how much a peck of tomatoes - the amount specified in Grandma's recipe - was.
With the encouragement of friends and family, Sue and I began to realize our dream of manufacturing Grandma's Catsup. After years of research, planning, and trial and error, Henry's Sauce & Condiment Company was launched in March 2002, and on July 20 we filled our first bottle of Henry's Grandma's Catsup.
Not only is it a life's accomplishment to manufacture my grandma's catsup, it is a joy to honor her memory and the God who makes it possible with each bottle we produce. As a company we have adopted the Bible verse Mark 9:23 as our motto, which God has proven to us time after time: "All things are possible for him who believes."
As others enjoy Grandma's Catsup I hope that they are encouraged knowing that they share the wonderful blessing and heritage that God provided me through my Grandma Bish. It is my hope that they will like it as much as I always have. After all, I can say from experience that…kids (of all ages) love Grandma's Catsup!