So far we’ve talked about beer and we’ve talked about sausage. Today, we want to talk some about a different topic: trust.
What does trust have to do with a beer garden and sausage house? To us, everything. When we first began discussing a sausage concept, we had a massive brainstorm. Name every word you can think of associated with sausage. As you can imagine, the results were hilarious.
On one side, we have parties, grilling out, sporting events, and a juicy and delicious sausage. On the other side, we have “mystery meat,” processed food, and pink slime. We knew from the beginning that integrity is something that sausage as a food category has lost, as the sausage most of us know these days has become industrialized.
Von Elrod’s is our answer to this problem. We’re bringing back to life an entire food category that’s been largely ruined by the food industry. “Mystery meat” to us is as much of an opportunity as it is a challenge. It’s why we put the sausage room behind a big window facing the dining room, so the mystery becomes transparency. We want you to know our craft from start to finish, and the most important place to start understanding Von Elrod’s is to know where our pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and other meats come from, how it’s raised, and who’s raising it.
That’s where trust comes into the picture.
In those early days of this project, when we talked with friends and family about sausage, it was clear to us the meat industry has lost the trust of a lot of folks. That’s why we only partner with purveyors we trust, and that’s why our sausages, rotisserie chicken, and other meats are what we feed our families and kids.
Our pork products come from Compart Family Farms in Nicollet, Minnesota, a gorgeous part of the country. The drive south from Minneapolis down through farmland and deep blue Lake Minnetonka is breathtaking-with rich, dark soil and stunning emerald green pastures.
During our tour of the farm, we got to know the farmers and families. We walked through the soy fields and saw where the soy and corn are processed for feed-all by the same farmers who raise the animals. We saw where the pigs are bred and raised. We even went to a local restaurant and tasted the final product. Spoiler alert: It tastes really good, and it went down great with a local Schell’s pilsner (or two)..
These farmers respect their animals, and they’ve developed a pure-bred breeding program that’s lasted for 55 years. Compart hogs are raised on small farms in comfortable and environmentally stable facilities. Because of the comfortable environment they’re raised in, they have lower amounts of stress than other hogs, which means improved muscle quality and better sausage.
The result is pork that is fresh, deep pink in color, and marbled throughout. It’s more like a fine cut of beef than “the other white meat”-a poor marketing ploy created by factory pork companies. Our product is special because we can use cuts like shoulders, butts and bellies that you might see at a barbeque restaurant, but it’s higher quality and less expensive.
Having been to Compart Family Farms, we know these are people and products we can trust. So what does that mean for you?
If we want you to trust us and trust our food, then we have to trust our purveyors. We’re not interested in buying our featured food from an invisible distributor who gets their product from the lowest bidder at the commodities market. Sausage deserves better, and you deserve better!
You can trust us when we tell you that Von Elrod’s has some of the highest quality sausage and meats you’ll ever eat. Every product we receive is from folks we know and places we’ve been, with you on our mind. Head back to our sausage room at the back of our dining hall and take a look for yourself.