Bella’s Market meat manager Dale Saindon has been making sausage for a long, long time. So long that he says of his recipe, “I’ve had it forever. I’m not sure where it came from.”
A Wellington resident for 16 years, Saindon has been at the Wellington Bella’s for seven years, since about a year after the store opened. These days, he’s in charge of ordering all the meat sold in the store, cutting and packaging it, and making sure it all stays fresh.
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He makes sausage almost daily and sells it fresh, never frozen. He alternates between styles: German, garlic, mild Italian, spicy Italian, 60/40 blend, and breakfast sausage. All styles, except breakfast sausage, are available in links. “The links are fairly new for us,” Saindon said.
Store manager Duane Lenz encouraged Saindon to start making links.
“I had good success with link sausage in my former job,” Lenz said. With the grilling season approaching, the links are likely to become especially popular.
Links are created by inserting bulk sausage into a machine from which it emerges inside a natural casing, especially suitable for the grill.
“The German and spicy Italian styles are the most popular,” Saindon said.
There is a little cook trailer at the entrance to Bella’s and uses spicy Italian almost exclusively — only occasionally grilling up German-style sausage.
Saindon makes his sausage in small batches — five to 10 pounds at a time, which enhances the quality of the end product. And the price is right — at or below the going rate in most other stores. Bulk sausage at Bella’s sells for $4.49 a pound or $4.99 a pound for links.
The word is out about the sausage at Bella’s. It contains less fat than what is normally used in sausage production and calls for top-quality pork. Saindon is proud to say that his customers come from as far away as Brighton to buy their sausage from him.
He’s been in the grocery business for a long time working his way up the hard way, starting as a shelf stocker at an Albertson’s store.
“I got lucky,” he said.
But in fact, when he learned that a butcher at Albertson’s was looking for an apprentice, he stepped up and asked if he could be considered for the opening. He learned by doing.
For a taste of the best sausage around, buy some, take it home and cook it up, or stop by the sausage trailer outside Bella’s.
Tina Porter, Bella’s grocery manager, added a reminder, “Sausage is great as an ingredient in soup or casseroles.”
“And you should taste my baked ziti made with spicy Italian sausage,” Saindon said.
It’s enough to make you hungry!