Marketing With Historical Fiction

Miner's mix

Don’t you wish your product has this kind of “history” (even if it is fictional):

In early 1849, Joshua Shelby was working as a cook in a fancy St. Louis restaurant. The hottest topic among the patrons there was the rivers of gold that had been found out in California. These seemingly easy pickins stoked a full-blown case of Gold Fever! The only cure was a pick axe and gold pan way up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains which lay far to the west.

In mid 1849, Shelby loaded up his wagon and along with hundreds of other would-be prospectors he headed west to California. Eventually he settled in the Mother Lode region, not far from what became Yosemite National Park. Accompanied by his trusty mule Codie, and panning along the Merced River, Shelby found a little gold, but eventually grew tired of the backbreaking work.

Looking around for something else to provide a living, Shelby realized that the gold mines and camps dished up awful, bland food that failed to stick to a man’s ribs and about which the miners complained constantly. Falling back on his skills, recipes, and spice blends, Shelby took a job as a gold camp cook which led to local fame and a little fortune. He soon developed a reputation as a first class frontier chef famous for good ‘ol fashioned home-style cooking. Joshua Shelby’s trademark spice and rub blends were always chock full of flavor and new blends continuously evolved as immigrants of from far off countries arrived in the camps, some with exotic and rare spices with flavors he’d never encountered before.

Shelby’s dry spice blends stayed fresh until mixed with meat and various liquids available in the gold camps. Legend has it that he guarded these recipes with deadly accuracy. With his ol’ 50 cal Sharp’s rifle he was able to shoot the center out of a silver dollar at 75 yards.

These mixes come from Josh Shelby’s own handwritten journal, recovered along with a well-seasoned cast iron skillet from his secret hiding place, deep underground in one of the many mines that still dot Mariposa County.

Miners Mix is a local company that manufactures (what they claim) are historically-accurate Gold Rush-era seasonings.

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