The recipes that Raddell’s Sausage Shop use haven’t changed much over the years. But when your business is in its 4th generation, and your family has been making sausage for over a century, it’s clear the tried and true is what works. Why mess with meaty perfection?
Raddell’s, based in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, was founded by Ludwig Raddell who brought his family recipes over from Slovenia. Ludwig opened a grocery store and sausage shop shortly after his service in World War I, which in turn inspired his son Bill to open a second shop after World War II – what we know today as Raddell’s. Bill passed the family business down to his son Tom, and today it’s ran by Tom’s sons Zak and Jay (with dad stopping in to check up on things a few times a week).
While the lineage might sound a bit confusing, the ingredients and preparation used at Raddell’s are simple. Everything is still handmade using traditional methods. Take the Slovenian sausage for example. After the grade A pork is ground, the seasoned meat gets pushed through a sausage stuffer into casing, creating a single sausage that is then twisted into Old World-style ropes. The ropes are draped on a rack to cure before spending the night in a hickory-fueled smoker to finish them off.
The result is a delicious smoky sausage with a snappy bite (thanks to the real hog casing Raddell’s still uses.) It’s a flavor that has attracted a steady clientele to the storefront, from old timers who have shopped there for decades to well-known Cleveland chefs like Michael Symon and Jonathon Sawyer. And, now, there’s no need for a special trip since they’ve expanded to your local Heinen’s!
Despite this consistent success, Jay and Zak Raddell haven’t always been handmaking thousands of pounds of sausage a day. Although both brothers honed their sausage making skills at a young age, they started out in other professions as adults. But they eventually found their way back to their roots to take on the family sausage empire. “This is what we know and we’re the best people for it,” explains Zak. “No one knows how to make sausage like us.”
While we’re inclined to agree, we recommend trying out Raddell’s Smoked Sausage for yourself. Find it at your local Heinen’s in the Meat Department available in four flavors*: Slovenian, Polish, Andouille and Hungarian.
*availability may vary