When a spinal cord injury from a suspect’s bullet ended Jim Mullen’s career as a Chicago police officer, he still needed to provide for his family. Like most of us do during troubling times in life, he turned to his Mom—or, more precisely, her apple sauce—to turn things around.
When responding to a call in a Chicago suburb, Mullen was shot in the face and the spine, which left him paralyzed and on a respirator. As you’ll see, this is one tough cop who didn’t let a bullet stop him from achieving a dream.
Since childhood, Mullen thought his mom’s apple sauce, made from scratch with her own special recipe, was the world’s best, though it never occurred to him to market it. It was only after his life-altering confrontation that the 48-year-old former cop recognized the potential. He decided to enter the food industry.
He says, “All I have wanted to do is to make her happy, and this is my way of sharing a piece of her with others. When life gives you apples, make Apple Sauce.”
To honor his mother Audre, the entrepreneur was determined to get Mullen’s Apple Sauce on the shelves of the local market where she shopped. He did, and by 2007, the apple sauce had gone super-nova—Mullen’s mom’s creation was on more than 200 store shelves in the Chicago area.
Mullen used the Internet’s largest crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, to raise money for his growing business when the site went online in 2009. His most current video appears at the end of this article—he encourages Kickstarter fans to donate to his expansion, making “Chicago’s Finest Craft Apple Sauce” available to more people.
Popular doesn’t begin to describe the apple sauce, which has actually been described by fans as “apple pie without the crust.” That should get your mouth watering! The two testimonials below should be even more convincing…
“My six-year-old son said this is the ‘best food’ he has EVER eaten and I couldn’t agree more.” -Laura O
“Just tried our first jar of Mullen’s Apple Sauce. My daughter was just recovering from a flu and I needed to give her a BRAT diet (banana, rice, apple sauce, and toast). I am going to tell our pediatrician about this. When the kids don’t feel like eating, they WILL eat this. I wont be buying any other apple sauce ever!” -Southside Fan
Because it would be a shame to deprive the rest of the country of this awesome-sounding apple sauce, Mullen looks to Kickstarter again to take his brand national, with the hope of having his pome-based product in 14 more states within six months. Pledges of more than $17,000 leave him with less than $8,000 to go.
“My new reality inspired a passion in me for proving to everyone that life is what you make out of it. Ever since that day, I’ve remembered that life is precious and dreams are worth chasing.”
We wish Jim Mullen luck in his endeavor (because we REALLY want to try that apple sauce!) You can read his story on Kickstarter and watch the video below! If you were going to start a food company, which of your mom’s recipes would make a million?