For almost 40 years, the German Sausage Company has been serving the Arcadia community. The owners of the establishment – the Scherz family – started their sausage business six generations ago in a small village in Germany.
Owner Joërg Scherz was born in Heidelberg, where his family owned one of two butcher shops in the village.
In the early 1980s, Scherz’s father wanted to expand the family business, and the family had an acquaintance in Phoenix who owned an established German bakery.
“My dad was looking to relocate since my brother and I wanted to get into the family business. We liked the weather and the area in Phoenix, so we moved and started fresh here in America,” Scherz said.
When they arrived in Phoenix, the family decided to combine their sausage business with the German bakery. Both establishments were in the same building for several years, located on Indian School Road and 49th St.
Scherz’s dad has since bought out the building, and the bakery moved down the street.
While the sausage-making business may run in Scherz’s family, he had to work extremely hard to run his shop. He had to complete three years of an apprenticeship, where he worked four days a week in a butcher shop and attended school one day a week.
After completing the apprenticeship, Scherz became a journeyman and worked in the meat business for four years to gain the necessary experience.
He then went back to Germany for his master’s degree. Scherz said that he studied for up to 14 hours a day, six days a week, to earn his master’s. The degree taught him the rules, regulations, laws and bookkeeping that is central to running his shop. Scherz returned to Arizona after completing his degree and began using what he learned in the family business.
Scherz’s hard work paid off, and now he continues the family business, while also teaching his son-in-law about sausage making. Scherz hopes that his family will keep the business and be the seventh generation to make authentic German sausage.
“I make meat how they do in Germany. All of our spices and casings are shipped from Germany and remain authentic. I don’t use fillers or artificial fillings, and the meat is as fresh as possible,” Scherz said.
With more than 60 different meats, customers can find sausages like smoked schinkenwurst, traditional meats, leberknoedel and knackwurst. In addition to sausage, there is a variety of cooked ham, smoked ham and other lunch meats. Each meat in the butcher shop can also be found in a traditional butcher shop in Germany.
“I want to make the best and highest quality meats and then sell them at a reasonable price. I enjoy what I do, and I’ve been doing it for over 40 years,” said Scherz.
Scherz serves the Arcadia community with a simple business motto: treat the people right and give the best authentic meat for the best prices.
Scherz hopes to continue serving the people of the Valley and possibly beyond, as he has begun to consider shipping products from his shop. He wants to keep his storefront going and hopefully take it easy once his son-in-law takes over.
For more: germansausageaz.com.