When Mess Sergeant Bill Gerstman arrived in Saipan in 1944, he encountered a situation which most thought had no hope. Gerstman found the soldiers of the 714th Rescue Mission so disgusted with eating only mutton and goat that they were dumping their rations into the sea.
Gerstman was raised on a small farm in Alabama and was taught that anything could be made to taste good if seasoned properly. In keeping with that philosophy, Gerstman began experimenting with various herbs and spices. The result was a secret recipe that not only satisfied the soldiers’ appetites, but the delicious taste had them coming back for more. Soon the troops were using Gerstman’s seasoning on mutton meatballs, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, and any other ration which required seasoning.
After completion of his military duties, Gerstman returned home to the states and resumed his trade as meat cutter/butcher at the LaBelle Trading Post in LaBelle, Florida. With spices and seasonings easier to obtain, he perfected his secret recipe to the delight of many customers who patronized the small general store.
In 1976, the secret formula was finally perfected, the famous logo was patented and EVERGLADES SEASONING was born. Gerstman seasoned local meats for years until, in 1985, he sold the recipe to Gene and Martha Cross, owners of the LaBelle Trading Post. For the next seven years, Gene and Martha Cross began distributing Everglades Seasoning in southwest Florida on a limited basis. During this period, sales grew steadily as word of mouth advertising was creating more demand for the secret recipe.
In February 1992, Everglades Foods, Inc. purchased Everglades Seasoning, Inc. Everglades Foods, Inc. began manufacturing and distributing the Original Everglades Seasoning, Everglades Heat (a Hot ‘N Spicy version) and Everglades Seasoning with 1/3 less salt and no MSG.
In 1998 two NEW seasonings were introduced. For that unique southwestern flavor there is Mesquite -flavored Cactus Dust BBQ Rub and for anything that swims or flies: Everglades Fish & Chicken Seasoning.
Everglades Heat, Everglades 1/3 Less & No MSG, Everglades Cactus Dust BBQ Rub and Everglades Fish & Chicken contain NO MSG!
The goal at Everglades Foods, Inc. is to make our wonderful blends of EXOTIC herbs and spices an everyday household seasoning that is sold in every major grocery store in the United States!