In 1974, Geno experienced what he called “the longest three days of his business life.” After failing to sell any cases at the yearly Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, he thought his dream was over. Then he got lucky. In 1975, a famous chef named James Beard contacted mustard companies around the world. He was writing an article for Esquire Magazine about the best mustard, domestic or imported, sold in America and asked each company to send its best products for him to taste. When the article was written, James Beard awarded Beaverton Foods 5 of the top 11 mustard spots – giving the company top honors for “value, flavor, and quality.” Companies the world over could not believe a small company in Oregon could produce such great products.