Hooray for Small Scale Sausage!

Along with all of the other little details that go along with being a culinary instructor, one very important thing I talk to my students about periodically is the wide range of choices they have in front of them when it comes to thinking about specializing in a specific area within the food service industry.

One niche that is growing increasingly popular these days is that of the small-scale butcher/meat processor/sausage maker/charcutiere. It seems like everywhere you turn, there's either a magazine article, a blog, a TV show, or something in the paper about yet another chef or foodie that has decided to open a shop specializing in meats of one sort or another.

I say great! I used to hear stories about the days when my parents were kids and there was literally a neighborhood butcher shop on every corner. These days, most meat lovers seem to allow the impersonal service of the supermarket to stand in for the higher quality and face-to-face experience of the local butcher.

This all leads me to my experience last weekend with my family while on a weekend getaway in a small Wisconsin town called Cedarburg. We were staying at an Aunt and Uncle's beach house, and we had a great little kitchen to use while we were there, so we needed to stock up on a few provisions. While strolling around Cedarburg, we stopped in at the town butcher shop, called Schwai's. Talk about friendly, helpful, personalized service...this place is it! And then there's the smell; Schwai's is also a smokehouse, and one of their specialties is a smoked, salami-like summer sausage. There's nothing quite like the smell of hickory smoke to get your stomach growling. In addition to a couple of beautifully cut rib eyes and two of the loveliest bone-in pork chops I've ever laid eyes on, we also bought a few of their house made bratwurst. All hand selected and carefully wrapped in pristine white butcher's paper.

While the brats were certainly delicious, the story that I'll always remember about this place has to do with the fact that they also sells buns for their various sausages. But not just any old buns...no, these buns are made extra long specifically for Schwai's elongated links by the owners of the small bakery across the street. It seems that the baker came in one day for some sausages, noticed that the proper length buns were nowhere to be found, and offered to begin baking and delivering ones that fit the bill.

I shop at the supermarket out of convenience too, but an occasional experience like this sure makes me long for the rich sense of community and camaraderie still found on a regular basis at the neighborhood butcher shop. It is with great excitement that I look forward to the continued increase in popularity of this small slice of the food service pie.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            The Chef's Academy , Morrisville
            • Listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
            • Offers intern and externship placement assistance for real-world experience.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality & restaurant management.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).
            • 2 campus locations in Indianapolis, Indiana and Morrisville, North Carolina.
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]