Our History

Email

vwolfsen@sbcglobal.net

 

I have put together a brief history of my bussiness for you. Growing up in the cattle business, my father and I always processed out own animals at the home ranch in Dos Palos. We would make sausage and cook for large company events. When the family sold out of the cattle business in 1987 I pursued self employment. I purchased & started "Wolfsen's West Side Locker Plant" in March of 1988. I bought the building and the business from the previous owner who trained me in custom meat processing.

West Side Locker started back in the 1940's and has always been a custom processing plant. With the help of my father we continued to do mainly custom work, locker rentals and some private catering. Back then it was not unusual to process over 150 head of animals from the spring fair in Los Banos and up to 400 head of wild game in a season. Processing meant custom cutting, wrapping, curing, smoking, making specialty sausages and jerky out of these animals.

In 1990 we began to remodel and opened a retail meat and sausage business, which would now put us under a weekly California State inspection. We began with about 20 kinds of sausage and as years passed we would end up with over 60 kinds of fresh and smoked sausages for our customers to purchase. Our jerky, hot sandwiches and Saturday BBQ were also on the rise.

We continued to upgrade the building and refrigeration, working very hard at building up all aspects of our business. We began to develop a high number of out of town customers from as far north as San Francisco south to Fresno. As walk in business grew we still continued to process animals & rent out space in our freezer. In 2002 with higher electrical bills and concern for cross contamination of inspected and uninspected meats (wild game & ranch butchered animals), we began to phase out of custom processing and storage rental. We then cut our freezer space in half and took out all the lockers, this helped to cut the high electric bills, and made our weekly inspection less stressful. We then put our main focus on sausage production, fresh & cured meats and jerky sales Along with our catering we would stay very busy. Wolfsen's was then open 7 days a week.

Back in October of 1995 we started our annual Open House Sausage Tasting, which has been great for public relations. We put up flyers and sent out invitations to our customers to come and taste all our sausages free of charge. They loved it. What began as a small inhouse tasting serving from 70 to 200 people developed into a bigger event every year. We were interviewed by the AAA ,Via Magazine and featured in their Aug./Sept.04 issue. This resulted in very high numbers at our tasting. We had to have part of a city street blocked off & put up a bigger tent. We estimated that we served over 1600 people in our 4 hour event. Sales were great and we are still getting feed back. The article in Via is still stirring intest, along with stories that have been in the Modesto Bee, Merced Sun Star and other publications. Wolfsen's Sausage is known throughout the state. Our local Rotary club has also had great success with their annual "Hops & Bangers" fundraiser in Feb., in which our sausage is featured.

We have future plans start in state shipping. However the fire in January has put a huge damper on things. We truly believe that we WILL come back Bigger & Better!! We feel that building a new facility will increase productivity and be more power efficient. Since we are inspected by the California Dept. of Food and Ag., on a weekly bases, a new facility will assure a better and safer environment for producing a wholesome and safe product.

Thank you for your time,

Sincerly

Vance, Donna & Warren