History of Queen City Sausage
Throughout the century, and for more than 100 years, Cincinnati’s historic West End was known as “Porkopolis,” with a wide variety of shops in every neighborhood, producing the fine meat products for the rest of the nation. It was the old-world recipes and traditions handed down from generation to generation that made it a meat-packing hub.
Queen City Sausage founder and president, Elmer Hensler was born in Cincinnati's West End, in the middle of nine children. By age 12, Elmer was working and exploring the business of meat.
Elmer Hensler joined forces with Cincinnati’s best “spice man,” Alois Stadler, and master sausage-maker, George Nagel, to create Queen City Sausage. Using authentic German recipes, together they earned a reputation for making the best sausage in all of Porkopolis.
With more than an estimated $10 million reinvested in the most modern equipment and processes and up-to-date campus, over 30 years, Elmer Hensler and his team grew Queen City Sausage more than ten times. The company also earned the coveted USDA federal inspection certification after meeting and exceeding all of the organization’s stringent quality requirements. While Queen City Sausage uses modern, efficient equipment, the skill, techniques, quality and small batch production guide the company daily.
Elmer Hensler, the self-made son of Cincinnati’s West End, becomes the sole owner of Queen City Sausage & Provisions Inc. when he buys out his long-time partners. Elmer Hensler fulfills his life-long dream of being a successful-business owner.
More than 15 million Queen City sausage links are crafted. Less than 45 years later, Elmer Hensler’s initial 1965 investment of $13,000 has turned into record sales.
Queen City Sausage Bratwurst becomes the official one of the Cincinnati Reds baseball club. Elmer Hensler looks toward expanding the exciting Reds sponsorship to include the Queen City Mettwurst and other popular sausages.
What was once populated by 40 different meat shops, is now the backdrop to one fine craft sausage-maker. Queen City Sausage is Porkopolis, and no one is more delighted than Elmer Hensler himself. The little meat shop that started with a dream and a whole lot of dedication has transformed into the region’s largest locally-owned and operated sausage producer. At age 81, Elmer is engaged every day like the first to ensure the craft-sausage tradition he defined lives on forever.
Expansion plans are underway as ajacent property is purchased and old buildings razed. The goal is to build a 14,000+ square foot building to house the main sausage production. This new facility will streamline production and efficiencies.
Additionally, a new computer system is underway making invoicing, accounting, and information more readily available and easy to use.
The Queen City Sausage Festival attracts crowds exceeding 65,000 visitors for the 3 day weekend. 2014 was the 4th year for the festival. The festival was held on Newport’s Riverfront Levee and features local food vendors who served Queen City sausages in over 27 different and delicious ways.
Ground was broken and a 14,000 square foot building expansion began. This is the 12th addition the company has done since it began in 1965!
Queen City Sausage is expanding into Kroger stores in Columbus and northern and eastern Ohio and throughout the state of Indiana, including Indianapolis and parts of Illinois.
New Goetta Dawg to launch in Cincinnati, Dayton, and NKY Kroger Stores. The Goetta Dawg is fully cooked goetta and is in a sausage link. Great on the grill. Delicious!
Did You Know?
- Queen City Sausage brats and metts are the best selling locally produced sausages in the region!
- All recipes are authentic German recipes.
- Only the finest ingredients are used. No fillers. No shortcuts!
- Real hickory wood is burned to create our distinctive smoke flavor!
- Our spices are still “hand mixed.” This ensures consistently delicious product.
- Queen City Sausage is family owned and managed.
- Small batch production ensures every product we make is exceptional!