Business

Olson’s Meats takes top honors, again

Shop has a winning way with sausage

It was no April Fool’s joke when Olson’s Meats and Smokehouse opened its doors seven years ago, occupying a roadside butcher shop that has stood along state Route 164 on the outskirts of Enumclaw for more than four decades.

The Enumclaw business has become a perennial favorite at the annual Northwest Meat Processors Association’s March competition in Moscow, Idaho. This year, Olson’s smoked the competition, winning five of the top 14 awards.

Owner Greg Olson said everyone at the shop offers input when it comes to spices, cures, smoke amount and cook time. The team effort includes Olson, wife Marcia, son Adam, daughter Darci, sausage maker Nate Sultemeier and granddaughter Kristyn, who is now a meat science student at Washington State University and joined the family at the competition.

In years past, Olson’s has earned Grand Champion Ham and Best of Show awards, but this year, competing with more than 170 entrees from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, the group carried away Grand Champion honors for its Polish fresh sausage and Hawaiian sausage; Grand Champion for its frankfurters; Reserve Grand Champion for its smoked Polish sausage; Reserve Grand Champion for its unfermented summer sausage and Champion for its snack stick.

“All three were like one or two points apart,” Greg Olson said of the top contenders and the local firm’s chance of winning more. “They won’t let you sweep.”

All the winning products are available at the shop’s old-fashioned service counter.

The Northwest Meat Processors Association is a group of small, independent retail markets, most of which are family owned, and a handful of smoked and deli meat wholesale markets like Bavarian Meats in Seattle and Hempler’s Smoked Meats in Bellingham, Wash., who snatched away best ham and summer sausage from Olson’s this year.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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