It’s been nearly 20 years since a violent accident happened to Jim Mullen, a city of Chicago police officer, resulting in quadriplegia. A young father at the time, and only beginning his life, Jim says he tried always to look on the bright side. “My new reality inspired a passion in me,” He says, “to show everyone that life is what you make out of it. Ever since that day, I’ve remembered that dreams are worth chasing.”
Jim’s dream manifested itself in the form of love for his mother’s home cooking — especially her homemade applesauce. “Even when I was 12 years old, I referred to it as apple pie without the crust. With a little encouragement, Jim convinced his mother,
Audre to help him get that flavor out of the kitchen – and into a jar. Later, Jim convinced his favorite neighborhood store to carry a few jars. When he showed his mother her famous sauce sitting there on the shelves, she was happily surprised. Jim remembers, “All I have wanted to do is to make her happy, and this is my way of sharing a piece of her with others. When life gives you apples, make applesauce!”
Jim often makes appearances at grocery stores throughout Chicagoland to hand out samples. He says he loves to sit and talk to people about his journey and about how he came to share this recipe with the world. It’s been seven years since Jim started the business, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
“There aren’t too many jobs for a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic,” Jim tells me at the store that hot, July afternoon. “So, I had to invent something.” Using voice recognition software to run his business, Jim says he can pretty much accomplish anything.
You can buy Officer Mullen’s Chicago’s Finest Applesauce in Chicago grocery stores or anywhere online. He says the product uses GMO-free apples and that it’s gluten free. Jim even carries a natural, sugar-free version (that version had sold out the day we visited). Visit mullenfoods.com to order through his website. You can see more of Jim’s story by clicking here.