WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>Made In WNY: Sahlen's Hot Dogs

Made In WNY: Sahlen's Hot Dogs

May 22, 2014|

An extended interview with two generations of Sahlens, touching on everything from history, to making hot dogs, and what it means to be made in WNY.

Related Audio:

  1. Andrew Peters addresses youth hockey brawl


    Mon, 27 Feb 2017

    Former Sabre Andrew Peters discusses his involvement in a brawl at a youth hockey game he was coaching on his WGR radio show 'The Instigators'

  2. Alan Colmes on WBEN


    Thu, 23 Feb 2017


  3. Mayor Brown at Peace Rally


    Sat, 4 Feb 2017



Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I'm Joseph sale on the fourth generation we're sitting here my son Joseph fell representing a fifth generation were. Just here for a little background on sale ones was founded an 1869. My great grandfather. As a full line we get a partner at that time this is almost 150 years ago. So we -- partner and eventually -- partner are at pretty much at this location here on the west indecent proposal. And he had five sons and -- they operated the business and then only one of those sons had any children. And that happen and -- my father and his siblings. And so my father passed away many years in order relatively young age. So again it came down to me is the only male. That's let's face it that's the way things worked. 1516 years ago that. Male roles -- Moved into the business in them and the women didn't necessarily move into the business so that's the way it shook out -- my sisters are involved in the business. And I am and I'm prevent president of Salem since 1980s. And involved in the operation since I've been up. Young you know very young. Almost. Young team. So our. As they say it was starter often operated -- been through the 1950s. As a slaughter in cart operation to eventually move in the fifties the slaughtering one way and then in the seventies current operation -- -- So that all we're doing right now is buying raw material. Ham Turkey -- sausage. Ingredients. Completely -- we don't do any 94 here at all anymore so we're just processing. Product. To our specifications. Perhaps -- ham Turkey chickens that sort of thing. To all of our retail customers. So it's it's an evolution where. All of that slaughtering and car operation now takes place in the midwest United States and that's where. We get our raw materials. How does a family business like this turn into something that's so being mean when you mentioned buffalo food. Say on top dogs that is one of the first thing annexed -- chicken wings and be fun like how does a family business grow to that level is just the product speaks for itself for. What some of the work that goes behind. We -- to a large extent it's you -- a quality product. Just. I'm somewhat or production and I'm not released involved. Submit it it dated operations with marketing sales so I spent a lot of time in the plan. Making sure that. Quality control. And particularly within the last couple weeks. With the circumstances that we have with me prices in the short -- pork that we encountered. So we've we've hit -- Use. Ingredients that we don't necessarily always use such as boneless hams or I've been now plant making sure that. Our processes and our formulas and her qualities that is it adhered to. Because believe me I'm 61 years old right now believe me there's nothing that means more to me and the reputation. Of assailants and then Salem branch. And so consequently and I represented fourth generation. Joseph represents the fifth. So were fast approaching -- 150 anniversary. And there's not too many family owned. Businesses. The action. Make this statement so. As time goes and generational. Thing. Common goal it becomes even more important than quality. And I think to a large extent that's the reason. -- Almost regardless if you -- Watertown. A lot of transplanted question are people you're gonna find somebody that when they hear that your from -- You're that are affiliated with surveillance anyway that's only announce it on -- But our businesses is primarily here question New York for a ducks were trying to branch out to take advantage of that that this. That's a tall marketing task. Your. Yeah it's true. A great extent is just the quality we've got a good flavor profile and the quality consistency -- For you hearing all that 150 years in the family and then there's also event aspect of a western New Yorkers go somewhere else mentioned sit on top dogs people -- talking about is there pressure for you I'd to want to keep that family business going in and -- may -- even bigger pressure as far as being a Western New York business it's a family business and -- family but it's almost like Western New York family business of -- We'll expect to have -- -- says about pride in this new program and the quality and comes with it we're trying to branch out well. And it's going to be quite well to me we have song. It's awful acts -- and that he make up maybe. Knows what. Percent market so did you go there and you know we've got a lot of people there that are ready nor ran well it just like well -- that's us. Case. More people there. Need to do. Participated. In this him. That don't miss that haven't necessarily had the experience. To forward. -- -- Moving a little bit now too with the process making the hot dogs so what you do here can take this kind of briefly from start to finish show what you bring into the plant here in and what comes out of it from him. Pat our perspective our formulation calls or is it primarily for -- So we take -- trimmings. We know what we need -- go into the product from raw materials the point -- we know what we need to come out so consistency is very important. So we have been at every. Campbell. -- get a camel has 2000 pounds and had every animal's going to be saying. So we go through -- testing procedures we. -- the -- product lenders and tested picture that it's chemical analysis is. What it should be in Atlanta and combine the fan component in the lead them. To give us what we want what we know we can depend -- getting when it comes out of the right out of this world and Coca operation. So we basically. Do are blending and our seasons and also -- stuff and do it the stuffing process. Into the casings. Just full of sugar and cooking. Chilling packaging. And then ship. How many people. Any given time now are working on just -- -- putting them together packaging things like that. Fool probably -- 3540. Years after work again. To exit. Probably another twelve to fifteen that are working Dell products but there's some commingling particularly packaging and cook it. -- fairly consistent throughout the year. Hot spot so. And tails off a little bit towards the end of June and July. And it's a little bit. Differently. After that. Most people. How many people total -- pulling it -- processing at 72 year. Mean that's the 6%. Of them are on vacation or disabilities so we've got. Sixty people -- We've modernized quite a bit. We used to be peaking -- close to -- What's -- room mechanization -- stationed. New equipment. We've been able to streamline operations. And let's face it labors costs. And so if we can do things a bit more efficiently. We're gonna look should do that. That's that's that I am right now is Joseph mentioned were. We're -- up a little bit right now will have perhaps. 3540. People working this is strictly production. And sanitation. That I -- for actor doesn't food administrators sales. So will be down in the 35 to forty range in the offseason which is from September. Through. Early April. What gives it -- ailments taste uses something you do here in the plan is that the materials you bring in special added ingredient may be or just the way that things are put together though what's the secret to getting that that silence. Well almost let's say 89%. Is in the flavor profile harsh place agree. This proprietary. Information and it's been derived. Between my dad and my grade on holy days basically came out they've refined form. In the late 1950s and early 1960s. And there's been very little modification. To this sense that. The the balance of it is in the process. How do -- handle product. And nature of this is. Handle physically and proper way so this is the right coking characteristics. I think most people when they go to visit half -- stand they have a difficult time replicating. The job that are professionals who -- -- -- man does when he's Coca. Vs what they can do at home. So there's that there's a tech technique and processing procedures. Due. Bearing that. You know when you take the same product at home or me or when you hear it when our local. Restaurants. Costing. Memorial Day weekend obviously a busy time for you is that the hot dog weekend is that whatever Almonte top songs this may be fourth of July Father's Day you know one do you notice is the day -- Well whether as a lot to do with it. Most time its main. Leading up to Memorial Day this year sole exception we've had very world weather conditions. Hands certain circumstances with prices are very high. A short relatively short span between Easter and morally these are all world who wants things capture talking about here. We see and can anticipate these types they obviously can't anticipate whether. But. I think it's going to be -- I think. June meeting to July is going to be much stronger. Period for us. Most of the time memorial days of this stronger. With the weather conditions and other factors that are. Particularly -- this year. Or its allies can be busier -- More day. There's a lot of fierce loyalty. That the assailants -- especially assailants hot dogs I've spent a lot of time in Rochester where it's -- my -- I tried to tell somebody else silences where sad it's a screw you know some -- is where sanity here a lot of -- the fighting between communities. Across the state as far as so what brand of our -- -- what do you think about that little mini rivalry. Each each territory. Buffalo Rochester Syracuse. Syracuse is a pop and city registers mentions like old we're here. Is -- -- has made some forays over here in the past. Haven't been particularly successful. We're doing this anymore -- sister right now it's difficult. You put your finger on how successful we are we don't have anywhere near the penetration. Or there that we hear here because everybody. As -- error low overhead there case Devoe and that's what they're used to. That's what they like so it's difficult to overcome -- in regardless of what area unless you goal. In generally speaking let's just throw -- -- mention Charlotte before or. In Florida. Aurora is a particular brand and there is focused yet if you've got a lot of national brands you don't -- Assailants. -- us why idols or -- in here we have an established game there. Generally family operation it is vital national. That that's a better opportunity for you for a somewhat like us then you're going someplace as a strong. Generally ethnic. Population. This is -- there for awhile and it dissolved loyalties. There's a lot of population there is this team orders. Lot of people who live or were born there so they bring their tastes so it's much more. Dynamic there and fluid so you can end and for that matter -- how many Western New York that your Charlotte for North Carolina. So these are the opportunities in the little niches that you're trying. Grab hold in -- is at least trying -- -- -- There isn't pre crime. As well -- him. Region slot ourselves of all voters who were fighting is going on her I didn't what are. Region talking. Do you notice that a lot across the country that appears. Pretty much national brands and not that one specific local Brandon is New York kind of unique in that. President New York is definitely UV we refer to is -- -- courtroom because of that circumstance -- there. You and other apparel licensee is and I and every there's Wisconsin was perhaps. People you know -- in the Wisconsin area keep in mind. Our main product out of town -- time out -- forever you. Small portion of our business our -- businesses and Turkey chicken. And it's only recently. That we started to be more aggressive in trying to develop an outdoor markets because. We tried it before selling dollars for example for her or. Atlanta Georgia or something like that but does. It's a very tough. As Joseph mentioned before it changes it candidates close to it came here. Process to do. Starter program and hang in there with -- it. If you can make it this law. Sometimes of marketing chain breaks down before it I mean you're forced to withdraw. You know we just it breaks -- opposite of that chain breaks and year bash or allow us. So. For everything we've found march. More. Success with selling ham and Turkey chicken for -- our town and out. Speaking of hot dogs how many hot dogs do you ship out to not just Western New York but across the country and if somebody is living in Missouri candy or go online and order a pack assailants armed thugs. So what's good committed both. We'll come and -- -- Google's. Book what foods that -- both of those. She -- an annual QVC yeah well we're trying to develop QQVCU. Flawed process there's a lot. Procedural. End. Organizational things we have to cross but we're anticipating being invalid QVC which will be real. I think the group whose stores. And. Yeah wrong number how many years old to go out of town -- maybe wanted 2000 here town. All right now all we're doing around a 45000. Pounds of days. So Animal Planet very roughly seven per pound so I think it's close to 300 meters 300000. So you do there over. X number of days generally how at least. -- Period for us is generally is a four week thing. Where we start to. Ramp up production in anticipation. Of the quality of eighties were a little early this year it's 26 or so shorter. And consequently gap between Memorial -- and fourth -- and bigger. So will start to ramp open pit. June 2. From before.