Former Chicago cop plans to take mom`s apple sauce nationwide - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Former Chicago cop plans to take mom`s apple sauce nationwide

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Written By Adina Klein

You have probably heard of Kickstarter, the crowd funding website that helps people raise money for business start-ups, non-profits and special projects. Users can donate as little as $5 to a campaign of their choice.

Here in Chicago, one man is using the site to turn his mother's apple sauce recipe into a business.

Former Chicago police officer Jim Mullen does it all from his bedroom - using a headset and a computer. But Mullen's journey into the apple sauce business wasn't his original plan in life.

Mullen suffered gunshot wounds to the face and spine while responding to a call in Rogers Park in 1996. He was paralyzed from the chin down and now relies on a on a respirator to breathe.

Unable to return to the police force, Mullen needed to find another career path. In 2007, he found it right in his mother's kitchen: Her homemade applesauce.

"My wife thought we would make it in the house. I'm like, no, no, no, we'll find a manufacturer," Mullen said. "We'll just put it out on the market and see if people enjoy it as much as our family has over the years."

The next step was getting onto shelves. Actually, onto one shelf in particular.

"My only goal at the time was to get it into a store down the street called Happy Foods, where my mom shops so she could see it on the shelf. Really, that was the goal at the time," Mullen said. "But the funny thing was people started coming back saying, ‘I want more of that!'"

Mullen's Apple Sauce, Chicago's Finest Craft Apple Sauce, is sold at Whole Foods, Jewel, Treasure Island and many more locations to come.

His current Kickstarter campaign aims to take the brand national. Mullen hopes to have the apple sauce available in 14 additional states within six months.

"We had an initial goal of $25,000," Mullen said, "which we met in six days."

You still have another 20 days to help Mullen take his business to the nation - and he swears you won't find a better applesauce on the market!

But in the end, he said it still comes down to his mom.

"My favorite thing to do is to give the applesauce away to people as samples, because it just makes me happy," Mullen said. "I know it's not financially sound, but I feel like I'm sharing the spirit of my mom with people."

Thanks to the public's generous donations, Mullen's campaign has raised over $30,000. He's looking to raise about $60,000 as a new goal, to do more with the company than he ever thought possible.

To make a donation to Jim Mullen's Kickstarter campaign, visit the Mullen's Apple Sauce, Chicago's Finest Craft Apple Sauce campaign page.

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