Goodbye Outer Banks Can

Goodbye Outer Banks Can

"With a popular product, Brunn needed a catchy name. His friend in advertising suggested “Old Bay Seafood Seasoning” after the Old Bay Line, a well-known Baltimore steamship company. Brunn trademarked “Old Bay,” giving his spice blend an instant feeling of tradition and a strong regional identity.

McCormick, intimidated by Old Bay’s rising demand, began packaging their crab seasoning in identical cans. Then, when Brunn attempted to join the American Spice Trade Association, McCormick threatened to leave. Over the years, McCormick tried to buy the Old Bay brand, but Brunn rejected every bid.

Since McCormick couldn’t buy Old Bay, they were determined to copy it. The spice conglomerate relied on a law that required companies to declare the ingredients on the back of packages. Brunn, aware of this possibility, kept his recipe safe by omitting his four main ingredients.

In 1985, Brunn passed away at 92 years old. In 1990, after a fifty-plus year rivalry, McCormick bought Old Bay for between $11 million and $14 million." The Nosher, Jewish Food

ENTER Highway 12 Shirts in 2024. I was contacted by McCormick telling me to sell the shirts I have and not print anymore. This is my initial response below, but they held their ground and said not to print any more shirts after these sell.

2020. The year Highway 12 Shirts was born out of the chaos of that year when I could not work a conventional summer job. For years I wanted to create hyper-local t-shirt designs to celebrate everything we love about the Outer Banks of North Carolina along Highway 12 from Carova to Ocracoke.

During COVID news stories about the backorder of Old Bay caught my attention. Old Bay - OB - Outer Banks. The Outer Banks is well known for fishing and fresh seafood. Look at the popularity of the TV series Wicked Tuna. Old Bay is a staple in OBX seafood outlets and an important ingredient in restaurant and home kitchens.

I knew it would resonate with my customers. And it sure does. My in-person conversations with customers happen at the local craft and maker markets on Hatteras Island. Oh, the stories I hear from satisfied Old Bay customers! It’s Old Bay they are raving about. They smile and share their love of Old Bay or shake their heads amazed at the loyalty to Old Bay of a family member or friend.

Over and over I hear stories like these:
“During COVID, I bought the 7 pound restaurant size so we wouldn’t run out.” (right up there with toilet paper:)
“I put Old Bay —- in soup, on ice cream, French fries, eggs, veggies, … milk.”
“My… dad, grandfather, uncle, cousin, co worker … LOVE Old Bay and put it on _________.”

I am still curious as to how my tiny business came to the attention of McCormick, a giant corporation.

So.... here is your chance. Goodbye Outer Banks Can still available in short sleeves & long sleeves.
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