Develey is a big supporter of the community. “We’re pretty proud of the fact that when we moved in, we moved in a big way, not just to produce and manufacture here, but also to be an active member of this community,” says Jenni Frank, marketing manager for the Dyersburg area. “We have over 2,400 team members and are quite the company globally. Here we have about 60 employees. Over the next five years we look to grow to about 150 jobs in the local area,” Jenni expanded. They have five buildings in Dyer County. When asked why Develey came to America, Jenni responded, “The company discovered a demand in the United States and began seeking a location that would be able to service its overseas customers. Dyersburg became an advantageous prospect from a logistics perspective and when the company representative visited the community, it felt like home.”
Develey spreads their German roots through authentic products. Jenni remarked, “Tigertail is our local brand.” Tigertail, Tennessee is a former logging town located at the edge of the Obion River located in Dyer County. “Tigertail represents what we stand for in this community and in this area, sort of that mentality of hard work and tradition.” The welcoming culture of Dyer County is what Develey values most in the community. “When they visited Dyersburg as a potential factory location, they were treated like family,” said Jenni. Along with the community, the company values the idea of family. “We support one another,” Jenni went on to say, “They want to make colleagues feel like family.”
The mustard seed parable is a well-known story. “It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.” People often dismiss the mightiness of the mustard seed. However, mustard has found its place in the world. And the mustard of Western Tennessee has grown to be much more than a seed.
Develey planted its roots and broke ground on their factory in Dyersburg two years ago. Like the tiny mustard seeds the company uses to produce a wide variety of products, the company has grown and has resulted in a boost to the economy, culture, and people of Tennessee. Develey can trace its history all the way to nineteenth-century Germany, where Johann Develey crafted a company that would eventually expand with locations in over ten countries, mainly in Europe. Moving into each local town, it adds a flavor of its own, just like the many types of mustard Develey creates. While the Dyersburg plant is the company’s first factory in the United States, by embodying the exact values and work ethic which put the company on the map over one hundred years ago, Develey has provided the same source of pride for Dyersburg as it has for its hometown in Germany.
Besides creating an environment that values the product they are making, how does Develey actually create the mustard? The process of turning the seeds into honey, dijon, sweet, and other mustards all take place within the Develey plant, going through an elaborate process to produce the best mustard Develey has to offer. After receiving the seeds from a supplier, they are cleaned, sifted, milled, mixed, processed, packaged, and shipped by the hands of the sixty employees. It’s incredible how much work goes into transforming that tiny seed into something delicious!
Everything done in the factory is completed with the community in mind. The majority of the plastic containers used are blown within the plant, showing Develey’s determination to create original and high-quality products. The company also has an innovative development laboratory that is dedicated to crafting interesting and unusual flavors of mustard. In addition to inventing new flavors of mustard, Develey is also innovating techniques for agriculture in the Dyersburg area. Develey is currently getting their mustard seeds from North and South Dakota, but are working on a way to grow mustard in Dyersburg. The soil is suitable for growth, but the temperature and the humidity levels present some obstacles.
To Develey, a brand name doesn’t just represent the brand, it represents the characteristics and virtues of the people creating it and those who are buying the product. “Tigertail is our Tennessee brand,” Jenni mentioned. Recognizing the people and places that help Develey grow is just one way we ‘pay it forward’. And the Tigertail brand has a taste that is different from the German mustard Develey produces in Europe.
Develey also has a store in Downtown Dyersburg, known as “The Mustard Company Store”, which showcases Develey’s mustard products, as well as other condiments. The historic location, formally the Dyer County Post Office and then the local library, the building serves customers of West Tennessee. Many visit the store and are reminded of bringing their children to check out books, but now have the opportunity to try the locally produced Develey products. Besides Tigertail and the German imported flavors, there is also a “Dyer Hills” brand at the store.
A map hangs in the back of the store, with thumbtacks stuck into each city from which customers have visited, shipped, or ordered Tigertail products. Every day, the map slowly gets more crowded with pins as people share the local flavors. During the taste test, the Cypress team sampled around twelve different flavors. Our top mustards were the Develey Munich Sweet, Tigertail 02 Honey, Tigertail 03 Dijon, and Loewensenf Bavarian Style. So it makes sense why people are ordering from Aurora, Colorado and Wichita, Kansas. To put it simply, the mustard tastes AMAZING.
Develey’s community support is also demonstrated through the events hosted by the company. On August 4th, which is National Mustard Day, The Mustard Store provides kids’ activities and sales on many of their products. When it's not National Mustard Day, they often host sales like a Best Friends’ Day Sale and a Father’s Day Sale. The Mustard Store has also been a part of the Main Street Dyersburg Farmers Market, they send out a Monthly Mustard Mail, and they have held many painting workshops and other special events in the store.
What started as a local German company has expanded to include the European continent and now has a start in the United States. As the reputation of Develey continues to spread, the quality of mustard and the company culture will spread as well. Develey’s benefits to the people and places around their factories strengthen their roots in each community. The transformation isn’t just noticeable, it’s monumental.
And it all started with a tiny mustard seed.