You could call Zach Rohn the minister of mustard. Maybe the converter to condiments. You might call him shy, but you definitely know he’s passionate about his work. In some existential way, listening to him takes you back to Sunday School. The history of mustard is as old as Moses. “Non-believers”is how he refers to those who have yet to taste his work. He’s funny. He’s hard-working. He believes strongly in the value of community. And he makes a mean mustard.
For more than a decade, Zach has cooked professionally, but the mustard phase of his career began in 2012. “I initially started working in condiments to accompany fresh made brats for a friend,”he said. “I quickly found mustard was something very few produced, so I studied it further and discovered it’s one of our most ancient condiments and a comparatively lost art in our modern food scene. This left me feeling like there was a niche to fill, and so it began.”
“It”being Batch No. 2, his company on Indy’s southeast side, in what is becoming the state’s culinary mecca in the Fountain Square area. Without doubt, he is among many other food believers there.
“We take care in developing our recipes and perfecting our techniques and have produced something we believe to be really special,”Zach says of his products that include varieties of mayonnaise, catsups and, of course, mustards –three kinds: blackened cajun, wholegrain and Purple Pride.
Just as his mustards spring from the tiniest of seeds, Zach’s interests and efforts are much larger than simply the kitchen and quality products. “Some of the most rewarding parts of what I do are delivering to my customers and keeping abreast on what is going on in the city. I’m invested in our local food culture,”he says, “and having a thriving, self-sustained food scene in Indianapolis is a future I would like to see and contribute to.”
Asked what inspires him about his craft, Zach says, “I love it when I can convert a non-believer with my mustard. I have found many who say they are not mustard people until they try ours. Seeing people pleased with what we are creating is always the biggest drive.”
And asked how being a Hoosier impacts his work, he said, “I think hard, earnest work is one of the hallmarks of a Hoosier. I know my work ethic has helped me weather the tough times and always keeps me grounded and focused on goals.”