See How the Sausage Gets Made at Texas Sausage Company

Mar 15, 2017

Gary Tharp, owner of Texas Sausage Company, has been running the the business since 1988. He says he's considered moving from the East 12th Street location, but that it would likely cost more to move than it would to stay put.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In the neighborhood around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin, change seems to be the only constant. We've been bringing you the voices of people in that neighborhood over the past few months as part of our On My Block project. Today, we hear from Gary Tharp, who owns the Texas Sausage Company on 12th Street. 

Tharp's business has been in his family for the better part of 70 years.

He earned a business degree and was an investment broker for five years, but returned to his family business in the 1988. He says, as far as businesses go, it's recession-proof – it's a relatively cheap product to manufacture, the pricepoint is low and, because of Texans' love of barbecue, there's always a market for sausage. 

Below you can see how Tharp and his crew of four employees make the sausage at Texas Sausage Company. 

Frozen meat is sliced with a bandsaw in the processing room.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Frozen boneless naval plate is sliced into chunks before grinding.
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Chunks of boneless naval plate are put into a grinder.
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Chunks of boneless naval plate in a grinder.
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Freshly ground meat is packaged into sausage casings.
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Workers load up sausages onto a drying rack.
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Freshly packed sausages.
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Freshly packed sausages are hung to dry ahead of cooling.
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Sausages hanging inside the cold storage room.
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Sausages hanging inside the smoke room.
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Sausages for sale in the display case at the Texas Sausage Company.
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT