Jim Mullen turns 50; former Chicago cop paralyzed builds his own business

Jim Mullen turns 50; former Chicago cop paralyzed builds his own business

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Jim Mullen turns 50; former Chicago cop paralyzed builds his own business

By Ray Hanania

On October 15, 1996, Jim Mullen, 32, was a Chicago Police officer who was on his beat in Rogers Park. His future was bright and he and his wife were building their family, celebrating the birth of a baby girl only a few months before.


Jim Mullen with his Apple Sauce products. Photo from Jim Mullen’s Facebook Page.

But the next night, while on duty, Mullen was with several other police officers investigating reports of guns being fired in Rogers Park when he knocked on the door of 61-year-old George Guirsch.

No one knows why, but Guirsch opened fire on Mullen and three other officers with a powerful gun, a .357 Magnum. That evening, Mullen was lying in a hospital with one bullet to the face and another to the spine. He was paralyzed for life. Guirsch was later convicted and given a 100-year sentence, but died in prison 15 years later in 2011.

With no ability to breath on his own, Mullen went through months and years of rehabilitation and was wheelchair bound. But he didn’t let that hold him back.

During a medical scan at Northwestern Hospital, the nurse told Mullen about how she had launched her own brand of food, a barbecue sauce. That story inspired Mullen and he remembered his mother Audre and how she loved to make apple sauce. Mullen used to joke with his mother and say it was “apple pie without the crust.” He would often tell her she should bottle it and sell it in stores.

Mullen got his mother’s recipe and made the apple sauce and had it bottled. He went to the local grocery store near where he grew up, Happy Foods, and convinced them in 2007 to put the apple sauce, now called “Officer Mullen’s” labeled Apple Sauce, on their grocery shelves.

My new reality inspired a passion in me for proving to everyone that life is what you make out of it. Ever since that day, I’ve remembered that life is precious and dreams are worth chasing,” Mullen writes on his website where he promotes the Apple Sauce brand at www.MullenFoods.com.

When life gives you apples, make Apple Sauce.”

Mullen’s website describes the Apple Sauce as being very thick and chunky and tastes “Like Apple Pie without the crust!” which is now Trade Marked by “Officer Mullen’s Chicago’s Finest Apple Sauce.” It is made with only the finest and freshest ingredients available, he explains on his website. “It is completely all-natural with absolutely no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and it’s both GMO and gluten free.”

This week, Mullen is celebrating his 50th Birthday. His next project is to produce an eCookBook that we certainly expect will include great recipes that include Officer Mullen’s Chicago’s Finest Apple Sauce

Mullen is an inspiration for everyone who has been knocked down, a role model for those who aspire to get back up and keep going. Never give up. His apple sauce is phenomenal and great tasting.

We congratulate Mullen on his success and urge you to support his efforts. Try his apple sauce. Not out of sympathy but because it is among the best.

Show your support.

Visit his web page: www.MullenFoods.com.

Visit his Facebook Page. Click here.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. He is the managing editor of the Illinois News Network online at www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)

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Columnist, blogger at Illinois News Network
Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992).

The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.