By Daniel Hunter
A city sausage maker has defied the high street slump to celebrate its tenth successful year in business by opening a shop on its factory premises in Stirchley for members of the public.
Owned by husband and wife team, Mark and Bernie Ellis, the Wolsey Sausage Company which is located on the Pershore Road in Stirchley, produces and provides premier, handmade sausages to Birmingham cafes, hotels, restaurants, high street and farm shops. Since taking over the 30 year-old business ten years ago, the Ellis’ have transformed the business to now offer a wide variety of sausages, fresh meat and chilled produce.
“The decline of the high street has been national news for some time now,” said Mark. “We’re not saying it’s been easy over the last two years but we’ve been able to grow our business through sheer hard work, determination and a lot of capital investment.
"There’s been increasing EU regulations which we passed with flying colours and visitors to the factory are always impressed with that they see. We wanted regular shoppers to be able to benefit from local produce at the same great prices we give to the trade, so we opened the shop at the back of the factory, with an entrance on Lea House Road. We’re better value than the supermarkets and being a butcher, I understand the importance of good quality, great tasting British meat.”
Before taking over the Wolsey Sausage Company, Mark owned a butchers shop in the Black Country suburb of Lye. It was here he met Bernie who worked in the greengrocers next door. The friendly couple are building a reputation in the area by focusing on quality produce and great customer service.
“The Wolsey Sausage Company supplied sausages to my Lye business so I knew they were good. When I heard it was up for sale, I jumped at the chance to buy the business, and Bernie and I decided to make a real go of it. We now have six staff and supply to well known businesses and farm shops throughout the Midlands — some of whom brand our sausages as their own. The shop for us is all about getting to know our customers — we’ve already got regulars who pop in often to buy their dinner and have a chat.”
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