If you attended any of the “Better Call Saul” viewing parties at Tractor Brewing you might have noticed the food cart out front. More likely, you were seduced by the amazing aroma of meat sizzling on a hot grill, the smoky goodness rising into the night. These delectable aromas and meats are prepared by the one and only self-described “craftsman, artist, sausage maker” in Albuquerque: Joe S. Sausage.
It can’t be easy running a business in the land of tacos, meat and potatoes, and red and green chile—or so we thought anyway. But after talking with Joe we realized that passion is his main ingredient. With passion, one can do nearly anything. Sometimes success is so close you can smell it, or maybe even taste it.
Now I’m moving to a true commercial district where there are many entrepreneurial minds at work: artists, brewers, mechanics, and more.
Joe described how he ended up in the sausage biz. “I’m from the Midwest: beer, cheese, sausage. I moved to New Mexico and one evening, about 15 years ago, my Wisconsin buddies and a few New Mexico friends were grilling some sausages I procured from various stores in the area (these stores shall remain nameless). I thought, ‘I’m gonna make some sausages!’ So I began a year-long journey of teaching myself how to make them.”
Bless those nameless sausage vendors, because they inspired a true sausage artist. As Joe has built his business, he has embarked on journeys not only in learning the craftsmanship of sausage preparation, but also in business, sustainability and growth.
“I started at the growers’ markets and grilling for the IPA challenges,” Joe explained. “I was subletting different kitchens throughout the city, then eventually I rented a brick and mortar in the North Valley. My business peaked there about five years ago, then I got burnt out. I couldn’t find the right kind of employees, the area began to have less traffic and overall we became less visible. My space wasn’t visible from the street, it had no parking, and it wasn’t obvious how to get in or out. Not to mention it’s really not a C-2 property. I made it work through brute will, quality and persistence. But at a certain point I knew it was time to move.”
Lucky for us, Joe is moving into our neighborhood! That’s right: By the time you read this Joe will be a quick step away from our Wells Park tap room every day. Joe’s new location will be smack dab just south of the tracks on 4th Street.
Joe has high hopes for the new locale. “Now I’m moving to a true commercial district where there are many entrepreneurial minds at work: artists, brewers, mechanics, welders, hot rod builders and other professionals.”
We can’t say enough about how happy we are to have Joe S. Sausage joining the neighborhood that is developing down here in Wells Park. Our neighbors, who are largely locally owned shops as Joe mentioned, are a hardworking bunch who deserve both great beer and good eats too.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to attract the right kind of help, and make more ravioli, pierogi and meatballs for retail and wholesale,” Joe shared. “I’d also like to have the last weekend of the month be SmokedSausageSaturday, and have an Autumn Paella Party or some type of SausageFest. And I want do more beer and sausage collaborations.” It’s safe to say, Tractor is definitely on board for some delicious collaborations once he gets himself settled.
When you can expect to hear that sizzle and smell that smell on 4th St. every night? Joe says, “I hope to be moved by April 16. Maybe we can do a ‘Welcome Joe S. Sausage to the neighborhood’ sausage night? A good place to see what I’m doing daily is my Facebook page, Joe S. Sausage.”
If your computer dies, just walk outside, put your nose in the air, walk toward Wells Park and follow the scent of sizzling sausage, all the way to Joe’s front door. See you soon, Joe. Cheers!
This post was co-produced by Pyragraph and sponsor Tractor Brewing Company.