By C.J. Vetter
BUDA – If you’re a Texan, you most likely know barbecue, there’s no two boots about it.
And for all the meat-enthusiasts in town, there’s good news on the way. An Austin classic, Texas Sausage Company, is coming with a brand-new meat market, alongside a new processing plant, to Buda.
Originally opened in the state capital in the 60s, the company specializes in sausages but is planning on expanding its business model locally. The company has purchased the building that was previously Arby’s, located at 270 Old San Antonio Road in Buda, with plans to turn it into a new meat market. Previously, the company primarily did wholesale, but with the purchase of new property, they hope to directly sell to customers.
“Right now, it’s been really difficult to hire employees. Every business is hurting for employees, especially the food industry,” said Scott Fiebig, owner of Texas Sausage Co.”So one of our priorities was to meet with the manager as soon as we could once the previous owners felt comfortable enough with the deal. I invited the manager and his wife to dinner.
“As soon as the deal was almost final, they brought me in to meet all the employees and I told them, ‘Hey, I’ve got a job for you if you want it, I’d love to have y’all’, and they’re a tight-knit group of people. They’ve worked together for a long time and so they all stuck together and stayed with us.”
In addition to keeping the entire staff of Arby’s, the company is also offering new positions and training. The staff will be trained at their current facility in Austin, before returning to work within the finished market and plant. The meat market will also be offering foods such as kolaches, breakfast tacos and other easy-to-cook items to let people taste the products before they buy.
The market will also feature a drive-thru where people can pick up steaks and other cuts of meat while remaining in their car. The processing plant will function almost identically to the current facility in Austin.
“It’s gonna be simple stuff to start with, your sausage wraps, your sausage dogs. We’ll sell fully cooked sausage by the half-pound. We’re planning on making our homemade potato chips. We’re gonna add some other things, but we haven’t finalized all of them,” Fiebig said.
The decision for Fiebig to move his company from Austin to Buda was a conclusion he reached after looking at numerous factors, such as leasing costs, taxes and the security of his facility. He claims that Austin’s current business climate is tough on small businesses and that bureaucratic inefficiencies have been a major pressure on the company. The increasing prices to live and own a business in Austin also led him to look elsewhere.
“We’re on a short-term extension right now, even though we’ve been there in that particular building since like ’62 or ’63. The landlord has decided to redevelop the property and wants us out,” Fiebig said. “It’ll be frustrating, as it was disappointing to lose where we’ve been since the sixties. It’s a lot of history and time in that community. As upset and disappointed as those people will be once we’re gone, we’re hoping that we’ll have a whole new group of people excited about us coming.”
The new meat market, named Big’s Meat Market, is set to open around June, with a grand opening soon afterward once the food side of the market is running. They will carry a variety of meat, alongside seasonings, grilling tools, and later, freshly cooked food. For more information, visit Texashotsausage.com.