Grimms celebrates three decades in Penticton
It’s not too difficult to locate A&K Grimms Sausage in Penticton.
After all, they have been right in the same spot near the corner of Eckhardt and the Channel Parkway for the last 30 years. Almost as long as the Parkway has been there, for that matter.
“We opened in February of 1984,” said Kelly Grimm, who started the business along with his father Arno, who, though he’s in his eighties, still comes to work every day.
“When we opened, there was just three of us: Arno, myself and one employee,” said Grimm. Nowadays, there are several employees to keep up with the demand, including Grimm’s mother, and his wife Kelly.
“And we are a true family business,” said Grimm, listing off all the family members who have worked there over the years.
“We started out just making a handful of sausages and retail meats: wieners, bratwurst, beer sausage. Staples,” said Grimm, though now they have a lot more variety, about 100 products.
“We make 90 per cent of our products on site,” said Grimm. “We buy our pork from Chilliwack … and we buy our beef out of Alberta.”
The secret over the years, Grimm said, is having top quality products, personal service, value and freshness.
“There is a lot of demand for quality of sausage,” said Grimm. Customers come from a large area outside Penticton as well, including a number coming up regularly from the U.S.
“And a lot of people that come here for holidays. They tell us this is their first stop,” said Grimm.
Then too, there is the art of creating a perfect sausage.
“We love what we’re doing. We’re more artisans than butchers here,” said Grimm. “We love to take the beginning product, a side of pork, and actually create sausages out of it, and enjoy the final product, being able to look at it, have people comment.”
While many might think all there is to it is grinding the meat and throwing it in a sausgage skin, Grimm said there is a lot more to it, including getting just the right texture.
“People know right away if its not right,” he said.
As the only licensed operators in Penticton, game cutting forms a large part of the business.
That includes deer, elk, moose, the occasional buffalo and once, a boa constrictor.
“We’ve cut everything,” Kelly joked, who said he was too squeamish to try the snake meat. “And what keeps us going is the chance of living in Penticton. We have met thousands of wonderful people over the years.”