Raddell’s Sausage Shop in Collinwood twists, hangs and smokes around 1,000 pounds of authentic Slovenian smoked sausages each week. Starting with lean pork shoulder from Daisy Field Farm in Sandusky, fourth-generation sausage maker Jay Raddell mixes in just salt, pepper and garlic to the coarsely ground meat that forms the old-style links which have kept customers coming back for the last 80 years.
Family Matters: Raddell grew up around the family business. “I’ve been sweeping floors since I could walk,” he says. “I started out making 25 cents an hour.” But he didn’t always work at the sausage shop. He spent seven years as a paramedic before eventually deciding a career as a butcher was what he wanted to do.
Man vs. Machine: Making Raddell’s signature Slovenian sausage is a weeklong process that includes an industrial grinder the shop has been using for the last 40 years. It can process 200 pounds of meat at a time. “I remember throwing tubs of meat on top of the grinder above my head at 12 years old,” Raddell says.
Win Streak: Raddell’s has entered the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame’s Sausage Festival every year since 2004 and has won either Judge’s Choice or People’s Choice seven times. “Our Slovenian smoked sausage is traditional,” he says. “It’s what people have grown up with.” 478 E. 152nd St., Cleveland, 216-486-1944