Sailer's celebrates grand opening
ELMWOOD --- To put it mildly, Sailer's Food Market and Meat Processing, Inc., was quite busy last week.
That's because the long-time Elmwood establishment held its official grand opening at its new location: 600 West Winter Ave.
All last week, visitors had the opportunity to sample eight different forms of bratwurst: taco, steak, beer, black bart, chicken ranch, chicken, mushroom and swiss and bacon cheeseburger.
The original plan explained by workers Jenny Miller and Molly Hines was for one brat a day. However, due to demand, by Thursday afternoon, over 500 brats had been eaten.
"People have been coming back daily for the brats," Hines said. "It's unbelievable."
The visitors also got the opportunity to tour the 10,000-square foot facility, which is more than double the size of the old building.
Miller said the popular line from tourists is they can't believe everything is prepared and cut in the store and the recipes are either co-owners Jake or Ric, his dad or Jake's grandfather, Frank, Jr.
Visitors also saw the new front look for the store. Miller and Hines explained that, while Sailer's was at the annual Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors in Madison last month--Sailer's was named reserve grand champion in three categories, grand champion honors in four categories and the Best in Show for their dried and cured smoked beef--they're told by their fellow competitors to hire an interior designer to work on the retail end.
Hines said Jake wanted a rustic, antique look to the front and Bauer Design--"The Blind Ladies Who Paint"--out of Plum City delivered. They went with shades of green and brown and lined the walls with newspaper clippings of the store's history, past awards, cow hides and elk horns that hung in the old store.
Then, as a tribute, the west wall has an image of Frank Sr., who started the meat market back in 1923. (Frank Jr.'s picture will be up shortly, Jake said.)
"They did a fantastic job," she said.
The ironic thing, they both said, is Bauer finished the front end just a couple days before the grand opening.
Both said business has increased since the state meet, but at the same time, they said it was busy before. Miller remembered when she was hired two years ago, the store only consisted of seven employees; now, there are 12 full-timers and four part-timers.
And that couldn't have been done without community support. It was estimated over 100 people walked through their doors on Monday alone, the first day of the grand opening.
"For Jake, it's all about the community," Hines said. "That's why he stayed. You get to know so many people.
"We've been thankful to everyone for showing up and supporting the business."
Looking ahead, they both said a goal of Jake's is to expand the business beyond meats, as pop, pizza and seafood have already been included.
"His biggest thing is that there are enough selections to make sure everyone gets something out of Sailer's," Hines said.