BOULDER SAUSAGE · MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
Simply crafted sausage and bacon.
Tastier. Healthier. Fresher.
Most people know Boulder Sausage due to its same signature recipes and Boulder roots for the past 50+ years; however, the story of Boulder Sausage actually began in the early 1900’s when the parents of Don Olk traveled from Germany to Racine, Wisconsin and started hand crafting sausage. In 1961, World War II veteran Don and his wife Frieda decided to move west and ultimately settled in Boulder, CO where they opened Don’s Cheese and Sausage Mart on Pearl St.
Don’s Cheese & Sausage Mart was well-known amongst the lunch crowd and quickly became a staple to many Sunday afternoons and childhood memories. As business grew, Don decided to franchise, opening several locations across Colorado’s Front Range. Unfortunately, business began to suffer-leading to real financial trouble and the closing of most locations.
As a result, some investors reached out to Jim Burton, a reputable local with financial wisdom. Upon his audit, Jim knew that the company was headed into bankruptcy; however, he saw great opportunity. There was a fantastic product, but simply no business. Motivated to help save the jobs of the 10 employees, Jim took on the challenge. He began by gathering a group of partners together, forming GBS Partners, Inc., who formally operates as Boulder Sausage today.
The partners ultimately decided to change the business model. Instead of keeping the restaurant alive, they focused on manufacturing and distributing the quality sausage directly to grocers throughout Colorado. They found pride in being different; maintaining the same great product but building relationships with the stores’ meat managers in order to build the business.
GBS Partners, Inc. was truly ahead of the curve in doing business differently both in operations and with products. In its first year, Boulder Sausage only made $200,000 in total revenue, but at least jobs were safe. The partners chose to loan the company money on Fridays so that the employees would be able to cash their checks. Employees were finally treated as a valuable asset and vendors were now paid on time. The partners were into healthier lifestyles and believed that, “your health is your wealth.” They took into account what people wanted and needed, developing a way to make Boulder Sausage a trusted, healthy brand. They used only high-quality premium pork, no MSG, kept it fresh (never frozen), and lowered sugar content (ultimately removing sugar from all but two recipes). These strategic moves became the foundation of being different and lead to their unanimous recognition for excellence.
Over the past 30 years, Boulder Sausage has continued to set themselves apart. Keeping the tradition of fresh sausage minimally processed with only pork and spices. Boulder Sausage has strived to become a brand you can trust, always going the extra mile to ensure quality.
Although Don is absent, the signature recipes that his family created still live on at Boulder Sausage.
It’s very important that we do what we say, because we are authentic.
~Jim Burton – CEO, CFO