cheap wellbutrin sr dosage range buy avodart cheap cheap anti virus protection asacol cheap online cheap celebrex zamiennik discount on alli ortho tri cyclen discount reviews cheap atarax australia buy antabuse implant buy erythromycin tablets online uk where to buy retin a 0.025 discount for accutane order serevent by mail cheap urispas in usa buy glucophage you buy periactin online cheap buy arthritis pain relief order hydrochlorothiazide gel diamox discount prescription nitroglycerin discount code buy mobic uk buy azulfidine a prescription get cymbalta out your system cheap hair loss experiences buspar discount program buy colchicine 0.6 mg order toprol xl headaches buy tinidazole best place buy prandin usa buy cozaar venezuela buy capoten kong kamagra cheap generic buy cheap trazodone online cheap anti viral online antivirus scan cheap zyvox work buy aricept hcl celebrex discount coupon buspar discount voucher buy medrol dose pack online buy trental in singapore cheap clonidine australia alli cheap clothes buy rogaine 5 months buy tricorder order zantac uses order pain relief zoster cheap cialis in canada buy naproxen boots cheap cialis super active information order feldene lyotabs buy female cialis new zealand order cialis super active vs regular cialis order propranolol buy allopurinol line cheap zebeta online buy ethionamide canada cheap clomid jumeaux liv 52 discount and fatty liver buy hydrea can sleep aid discount using benadryl cheap levaquin lawsuit buy flonase online cheap speman work order apcalis sx ajanta pharma buy propecia tablets buy levitra plus in usa cheap effexor xr package insert minocycline discount generic order anti fungal mouth rinse order reminyl forum buy glucotrol xl weight gain order zovirax safe buy saw palmetto shampoo cheap atacand hct order v gel reviews order mircette lawsuit buy nolvadex pct order doxycycline in canada buy femara online buy viagra plus with mastercard cheap levitra plus active buy orlistat in malaysia order rogaine 5 kirkland rogaine order glucotrol xl it works buy cholesterol lowering alternatives to statins order revia prescription nexium discount voucher buy lisinopril kidney buy emsam los angeles buy reglan australia urispas discount code nizoral discount buy reminyl forum buy diclofenac potassium online uk order clozaril forms cheap kamagra in uk cheapest lamisil once buy retin a 0 05 micro order triamterene a prescription buy lithium air battery buy phenergan online australia order brand cialis lilly order alesse matter buy brand viagra in australia buy ditropan xl online cheap viagra yumbel nexium generic cheap buy propecia dublin buy brand viagra online canada buy cymbalta in uk buy viagra sublingual crushed mircette discount voucher cheap rental rates cheap revatio generic order tadalis sx tadalis-sx vs tadacip cheap viagra jelly in canada cheap ventolin hfa buy aricept line uk buy myambutol the counter cheap toprol xl for afib buy suhagra online india buy l tryptophan libido cheap shuddha guggulu vs ayurslim femcare discount code buy cytotec philippines cymbalta discount card toradol discount code cialis super active discount generic buy tulasi seeds cheap florinef for dogs order proscar online uk order diamox prescription buy cialis vancouver buy second hand graphics card generic zoloft manufacturers cheap lady erath ashwagandha buy online uk bupropion cheap generic order finpecia buy buy bupropion sr xr buy phenergan tablets online buy furosemide online order chloromycetin australia astrazeneca seroquel discount cheap shuddha guggulu himalaya drug cheap cytoxan order flagyl er uses cheap anti viral tissues buy quetiapinum qt men;s health discount hair loss cheap cialis soft ligne cheap cytotec zealand order cialis jelly sachet order buspar generic cheap metformin hcl order claritin online dutas discount vouchers buy purinethol gel buy augmentin bulk amitriptyline to buy cheap cardizem nursing order floxin tablets order cialis soft gel caps order cleocin gel for rosacea buy voveran sr medicine buy crestor kuala lumpur haldol discount vouchers order pain relief quick cheap rental rooms buy synthroid doses order paxil legal kamagra gold discount dejstvo cheap nexium canada cheap kamagra gold opinie buy penegra safe order erectile dysfunction medication order vasotec australia order trazodone line order blopress wiki buy lithium orotate cheap brand viagra online order chloramphenicol you lantus to buy cheap elavil dosage order anti fungal order wellbutrin sr reviews weight loss buy levitra super active online buy prandin uk ortho tri cyclen discount quick start order actoplus met you order cialis jelly oral celadrin discount voucher glucophage discount card ortho tri cyclen discount zebra case hair loss discount after birth isoptin discount program order avapro generico buy zyban online india buy deltasone prednisone cheap etodolac xl cheap endep headaches buy tadalis sx bestellen order cialis soft wirkung order kamagra australia buy erythromycin ophthalmic ointment cheap viramune prescription prednisone discount coupons buy glucophage vancouver buy phenergan online nz buy finasteride 5mg cholesterol lowering discount exercise and diet cheap adalat oros stromectol discount buy clomid with debit card order erectile dysfunction xr buy atarax rx hair loss discount post pregnancy buy hydrea rx cheap kamagra online order diclofenac gel las-diclofenac order flagyl er dosage order brand advair diskus youtube buy finpecia buy order benfotiamine generic cheap phenergan gel order apcalis sx erfahrung buy protonix order viagra super active cheap cialis super active kaufen buy ortho tri cyclen reviews can i buy antivert over the counter purchase generic celebrex order benfotiamine zealand order bentyl dosage buy dipyridamole zealand viagra professional discount canada buy periactin appetite stimulant grifulvin v discount pediatric dosage buy ventolin nebules cheap cleocin gel insert buy men;s health home workout cheap lady era tumblr order pain relief after tooth extraction order antabuse by mail remeron discount voucher buy bystolic 10 mg cheap imuran how to order acyclovir cheap flagyl er dosing cheap cialis jelly sachet order arava youtube florinef discount card hair loss discount products order toprol xl generic equivalent cheap cardizem bula buy altace online cheap viagra super active long does buy hydrea need cheap requip get buy veterinary prednisone cheap viagra professional es buy urispas prescription pronovias benicarlo cheap buy diclofenac usa cheap amitriptyline online celebrex get high order diclofenac gel side effects order triamterene australia buy alli xenical buy asacol canada order effexor xr half life buy men;s health six pack challenge cozaar discount coupons tricor manufacturer discount buy amantadine in usa cheap kamagra oral jelly malaysia order finax xlri rumalaya forte discount gout cheap shuddha guggulu guggulu exelon apple discount cheap brand levitra cialis buy nitrofurantoin tablets order lynoral tablet buy diflucan gel benemid discount voucher cheap brand cialis india buy tenormin vegas cheap toprol xl juice order chloromycetin wiki order female viagra usa order topamax from canada cheap lady era jane order mango pure cheap differin a prescription desyrel discount voucher order amantadine illegal effexor xr discount used for weight loss buy dapoxetine sweden cheap female cialis next day delivery cheap artane restoran zerit discount vouchers cheapest antabuse online buy bupropion sr klinefelter syndrome order cleocin gel insert buy lithium-6 deuteride pamelor discount voucher buy aricept online uk buy crestor 20 mg online female cialis discount how does cheap cytotec the counter buy zyloprim dosage isoniazid discount hardy arndt order dutas by mail ortho tri cyclen discount depression cheap lanoxin get order viagra super active shop cheap tretinoin 0 025 kubikmeter cholesterol lowering discount guidelines buy famvir online uk buy hydrea nedir effexor xr discount overdose symptoms order zetia a prescription cheap brand viagra www.cheap-viagra.com order v tight gel buy saw palmetto xatral order prandin bula buy nexium over the counter cheap effexor xr online cheap eurax buy erythromycin ointment online cheap viagra plus quick delivery cheap cafergot uk cheap periactin in usa zaditor discount online order casodex usage buy bupropion sr anxiety order female viagra order citalopram the uk cheap avodart reviews moduretic discount vouchers cheap arjuna order chloramphenicol in canada order citalopram zealand order diclofenac gel quantity buy tinidazole metronidazole or buy retin a 0 05 janssen cheap cialis professional information bystolic manufacturer discount buy erythromycin for fish discount for actonel cheap cholesterol lowering quinoa pamelor discount price cheap ginette 35 transgender cheap finax buy generic januvia online discount on lantus buy arjunarishta buy nolvadex buy baclofen cheap buy zanaflex generic cheap cozaar generic order ginette 35 skin cheap avodart very cheap differin jel buy female viagra by paypal buy purinethol order kamagra cheap emsam get innopran xl discount effects buy triamterene in thailand buy reminyl xl buy xenical and reductil cheap ortho tri cyclen yahoo answers cheap rental buses prednisolone buy online uk cheap advair diskus user reviews cheap atacand vidal cheap carafate price mango discount flights rumalaya forte discount tab flovent diskus discount order viagra sublingual dosage cheap rogaine 2 months buy confido buy atorlip 20 ba'n buy rogaine 2 europe buy cytotec at walmart atrovent order buy furosemide uk cheap glucotrol xl action order mircette canada order innopran xl anxiety buy suhagra duralong avalide discount vouchers buy casodex perth buy zetia you buy zyvox dogs cheap effexor xr birth defects order zyvox mail arava discounts order eurax hc cheap floxin tablet buy rosuvastatin japan order calcium carbonate hydrochloric acid balanced equation cheap herb viagra cheap clean perfume vpxl discount buy kamagra gold didronel discounts buy anavar uk paypal cialis generique discount order protonix back men;s health discount elevate gf order propecia vancouver buy lamisil 250 mg order mircette libido sustiva discount order paroxetine online liv 52 discount hb review prinivil discount voucher cheap toprol xl twice daily effexor xr discount for ocd order diamox from india astrazeneca nexium discount card order lancer skin care products buy tamoxifen online uk cheap wellbutrin vs buy reminyl wiki buy viagra soft lloyds pharmacy cheap rental deals cheap quibron t sr side effect cheap ortho tri cyclen yeast infection cholesterol lowering discount natural supplements order toprol xl and weight gain order cialis professional lilly buy hydrea next day delivery buy valtrex in canada buy zyban online europe buy abilify in mexico buy mircette acne buy rogaine 2 solution erexin v discount bionutricals buy triamterene for cheap cheap brand levitra cheap-levitra.com cheap hair loss from steroids purim discount code buy mircette in singapore buy urispas boots order weight loss low carb cheap lady era boxe buy zenit e camera buy famvir dosage cheap viagra with prescription buy yasmin contraceptive pill order anti fungal juice cialis super active discount cialis buy female viagra yahoo buy viagra professional discount cheap ortho tri cyclen how long until effective buy antivert africa tadacip discount cleocin gel discount vs lotion lasix discount card viagra discount voucher order crestor help men;s health discount week buy ciprofloxacin online uk order hair loss juice recipes buy cefixime brisbane lantus vial discount card buy amitriptyline south africa buy cialis london abilify discount vouchers order rosuvastatin generic buy clindamycin australia where to buy arthritis shoes cheap combivent online nitroglycerin discount get order vasotec illegal buy zero sr crestor discount prices mevacor discount voucher buy protonix side buy cytotec online cheap order glucophage by mail order paxil vs viagra discount program diclofenac gel discount generic cheap kamagra gold opis discount on topamax lariam discount online cheap cholesterol lowering exercise and diet buy erythromycin dublin pain relief discount the gout cheap toprol xl nursing considerations cheap hair loss breastfeeding order hair loss disease cheap cipro rx order rumalaya liniment himalaya buy cardizem vietnam
Share this page on facebook
Sausage, a smoky business PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by CAROL POMEDAY   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 15:46

Bernie’s owner Steve Bennett prides himself on sausage skills he learned from a Polish in-law


    When Steve Bennett is smoking sausage  or bacon, a sweet smoke wafts through the air around Bernie’s Fine Meats in downtown Port Washington, just as it has for 71 years.

    Bennett, the third butcher and sausage maker to own the establishment started by Bernie Skeris in May 1941, puts the emphasis on making a variety of fresh and smoked sausages and bacons, a craft he learned from his wife’s uncle, a Polish emigrant who owned a small butcher shop in Milwaukee.

    When he bought Bernie’s in 2005 from John Salchert, who owned it for 31 years — both men are frequently called Bernie — Bennett fulfilled a longtime goal.

    “I always wanted to own my own business, but I didn’t know what,” Bennett said. “It hadn’t found me yet. This business found me.”

    Bennett, 37, earned a degree in business finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and worked in the financial world until he bought Bernie’s.

    He quit his lucrative job as an accounts manager for ICM Corp. in Milwaukee to become a sausage maker. His wife Sandy works for Thomson Reuters in Milwaukee.  They have three children, Samantha, 6, Sydnee, 3, and Scott, 2.

    “It started when I met my wife Sandy and her uncle (Frank Jakubczak). He was in the sausage business and has this tiny place. On Saturday mornings, there would be a line out the door,” said Bennett, who was 25 at the time. “I would help out on weekends if they needed me.

    “I fell in love with it right away.”

    He loved every aspect of the craft — the aroma when he stepped into the shop, the customers who shared stories, the fragrant spices and the wood and sawdust used in the smoking process.

    Although working in high finance and making sausages seems worlds apart, Bennett said there is a lot of math involved in his new calling.

    “It’s x amount of spices to x amount of meat,” Bennett said. “It is an art, but it’s also an equation.

    “I always loved cooking with my mom and experimenting with spices.”

    Bennett considered buying Jakubczak’s business, but the uncle wasn’t ready to retire and the young man was eager to jump into his life.

    His wife saw the small ad placed by Salchert in a newspaper. Bennett had not been to Port Washington before checking out the business opportunity.

    “I came here and saw Bernie’s, and it was eerie. It felt like home the moment John started walking me through the place,” Bennett said.

    Bennett bought Bernie’s recipes, some of them from Skeris, who died in 2002. He also had recipes from Hoffmann’s Meat Market in Cedarburg that were given to him when that business closed.

    “I merged them and invented my own,” Bennett said. “I would take spices from one and add it to the other. I never stop evolving. Every year, I invent a different sausage or product.

    “My goal was to make it a sausage shop with a full butcher shop and European market. We wanted to bring that ambience to the business. Even though I’m younger, I like to keep things old-fashioned.”

    His sausages outsell butchered products, which used to be the biggest draw for customers.

    “People enjoy the product, and that’s what keeps you smiling,” Bennett said. “They try something and come back and say, ‘That’s the best brat I’ve ever had,’ or the best bacon.”

    Every holiday is good for business, he said, but the Christmas season is by far the busiest time of the year. More than 1,000 gift boxes are sold, many of them shipped throughout the United States. Customers have also shipped them to soldiers serving overseas.

    Once the holiday rush is over, Bennett starts experimenting with new sausages or products. Last year, he added a chicken wings brat to the sausage case. This year, he’s vacillating between an apple cinnamon sausage or a cranberry sausage with cheese or bacon. He’s not sure which one will end up next to the other varieties of bratwurst he makes.

    The original brat, which he tweaked many times, is the best seller, Bennett said.

    Bennett makes six kinds of bacon that range from a hot, spicy Hungarian to flavorful apple or cherry wood to the milder old-fashioned bacon. He sells 500 to 600 pounds of bacon a week to retail and wholesale customers.

    “I was at BaconFest at the Harley-Davidson Museum and people told me I had the best bacon there,” Bennett said.

    There will be extra corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day and Bennett plans to sell Reuben sandwiches on Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17.

     Extra fresh and smoked Polish sausage for Easter are also in the works.

    “When I first came here, I made 100 pounds of fresh Polish sausage and sold only 30 pounds. I gave away 70 pounds to family and friends,” he said.

    “Now, I sell 1,000 pounds in the one week before Easter.”

    He also has frozen meat and cabbage-filled pirogies, a Polish dumpling popular during Lent.

    Bennett usually makes small batches of fresh sausage every other week and freezes what doesn’t sell.

    His smokehouse, where he makes 100 pounds of smoked sausage a week, is fired most days.

    In addition to summer sausage, long, thin landjaeger sausage is also popular.

    Bennett’s smoked meats cure for 48 hours before being smoked for hours, depending on the product. He uses hickory wood, with maple, oak, apple and cherry for speciality items. Sawdust, which is needed to make the smoke, is from maple, oak and hickory for summer sausage and bacon and pure hickory for other smoked products.

    “The brick smokehouse is the secret ingredient,” Bennett said. “It has so many years of use, it has its own flavor. If I took that away, you would know immediately.”

    The brick smokehouse is a bygone gem that will probably disappear someday. Commercial smokehouses must now be made of stainless steel, Bennett said.

    Beer, wine and European items, which include condiments, candy, jams and soups, are also popular at the shop, he said.

    The backbone of his business is the wholesale market — restaurants and grocery stores.

    “I want to say thanks to all the local restaurants who continued doing business with me when I took over for John. They stuck by me through the transition,” Bennett said. “They’re the reason Bernie’s is successful.”  

    Customers often ask how to cook brats.

    “Let them simmer for 15 minutes in water, then grill on a charcoal grill until golden brown,” Bennett said. “I like to taste the sausage, not the charcoal.

    “If someone wants the beer and onion flavor, then buy my beer-and-onion brat.”


 

Image Information: Steve Bennett has a business degree, but he’s built his career on the ancient craft of sausage making and smoking in downtown Port Washington. Photo by Sam Arendt

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy
 
advertisement
Banner
Banner