Spotlight Artlcle

Twinsburg businessman revives Cowboy By Choice Brand

Updated: Apr. 16, 2024, 5:55 a.m.|Published: Apr. 16, 2024, 5:30 a.m.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Randy Mintz adopted a lifestyle when he was a boy, embraced it, and turned it into a business.

Mintz has recently revived his Cowboy By Choice brand of mustards and other products.

“I still ride horses,” said Mintz, who splits time between Twinsburg and Boca Raton, Florida, and who grew up in Beachwood. “I’ve been riding horses since I was eight years old. My Uncle Del had a farm that if you were standing on the driving range of Hawthorne Valley in Solon, the country club that closed, during the winter you could see the top of the barns right off of Aurora Road. I was eight years old, and I’ve been riding ever since.”

 To this, day, Mintz will hop on his horse, Chief, in Chagrin Falls, and get a bit of that cowboy persona back. “I’ve been going to dude ranches and cattle drives since I was a little kid and living out that dream,” he said.
 In 2005, he turned that dream into a business venture. “I wanted to create a brand,” he said. “I wanted a brand that was taylor-made for that individual. That’s where the name ‘Cowboy By Choice’ came about.”

The brand encompassed home décor, gifts, apparel, fragrance line and food. He had showrooms in Las Vegas, Denver and Dallas. He concentrated the brand mostly west of the Mississippi River. Big sellers included license-plate frames, horse-trailer tire mounts and apparel “because that individual wanted people to know that is his lifestyle – he is a cowboy by choice. That’s why the brand is so unique; it belongs to each individual.” (Cowgirl By Choice also is part of the branding.)

In 2010, his Rodeo Kick mustard won a gold medal at the Worldwide Mustard Competition in Napa Valley, California. The product earned coverage via Martha Stewart media, culinary magazines in New York and other places.

“It took our exposure to a different level,” he said. “It was a very exciting time for us.”

If Mintz’s name is familiar, it’s because he acquired Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard in 2013.

Technically, it was Cowboy By Choice that purchased Bertman, as Mintz wanted to keep the companies separate. He put CBC on hold to concentrate on the growth of Bertman, which will mark 100 years on Jan. 1, 1925. Mintz was president for four years, and his older brother, Michael, runs it now.

“I decided to give Cowboy By Choice a chance again,” Mintz said about the revival. So, he’s brought back three sauces:

Rodeo Kick Mustard, a versatile signature brand that has turmeric and oriental mustard seed and makes for great deviled eggs and goes well on zesty baked beans, tuna salad and assorted meats, he said.

Smokey Horseradish Sauce.

Campfire Bourbon Mustard, a recently added product made with Bourbon. For this, Mintz said the company partnered with Middle West Spirits in Columbus.

With Chief Operating Officer Chris Adams and Executive Vice President Stephanie Frusteri, Mintz said, the company is in the process of expanding its footprint. That trilateral leadership also is getting the product in non-traditional food markets – Tractor Supply stores, Bass Pro, ACE Hardware and others, for instance.

There’s “no question about it” that Mintz’s childhood dream is coming true, he said. Advice that his Uncle Del offered Mintz when he was a boy has stayed with him.

“Get on this horse,” he said. “Uncle Del, I never rode a horse before,” Mintz replied. “He said to me – and I’ll never forget this quote – ‘You can judge a man’s character by the way he rides a horse.’ “

And Mintz continues to ride – horses as well as business ventures.