Mustards from the gods?

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When you make mustard in a place that sells millions of sausages and brats every year, it had better be the best tasting mustard in the world.

In the little faux-Bavarian town of Leavenworth on the east side of the Cascades, that mustard is The Alps, a gourmet brand of mustards, sauces and dips handmade in small batches by local resident Archie Marlin and his family using recipes passed down through generations.

For more than 30 years, a two-hour drive east of Everett over Stevens Pass was the only way to buy their product, but now for the first time you can find it here in Point Roberts at Auntie Pam’s Country Store.

Bringing The Alps from Leavenworth was not easy, according to Auntie Pam’s owner, Pamala Sheppard. On their regular visits to the resort town she and her husband, John, fell in love with The Alps’ unique flavors of mustard, such as Walla Walla Onion and British Pub. “For years I asked if we could make a wholesale deal,” she said. “But the answer was always ‘no.’ They only made enough to sell in their own stores and had no interest in getting bigger.”

Sheppard’s persistence finally paid off during the most recent trip to Leavenworth when she finally met Marlin who, with his brother Fred, has spent most of his life making gourmet mustards and sauces, as well as fudges and candy, to be eagerly gobbled up by hungry tourists.

After telling Marlin about her store and how much she loved the brothers’ product, he agreed to make his first-ever wholesale deal with Sheppard.

“We are the first and only store outside of Leavenworth to carry them,” Sheppard said. “I’m convinced once people try things like the Green Lizard Hot Sauce and Walla Walla Onion Tomato Salsa, they’ll be hooked like we are.”

Customers can now sample The Alps products for themselves at the newly-installed tasting bar at Auntie Pam’s Country Store, open 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

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