Regina's Ukrainian Co-op now using secret sausage recipe
Secret sausage recipe passed on to historic Regina business
It was a sad day for sausage lovers in Regina. Last spring, Oskar's Deli and Sausage Haus in Regina closed its doors after 39 years of business. It was a staple for people in the German community and a weekly tradition for many Regina families.
Oskar's was located on 11th Avenue, right in the heart of old Germantown.
Anne Harty worked at the deli for seven years. She was there the day Oskar Scheuerpflug closed his doors forever.
"It was very emotional. It still is," Harty said. "It's like family. Their grandparents shopped there. Their parents shopped there. Now they shop there. So yeah, there's a hole."
Impact on customers
One of Oskar's most loyal customers was the Regina German Club, located just around the corner. Oskar's supplied the club with bratwurst for all the major events during the year, including Oktoberfest and Mosaic.
Kerry Van Loosen, manager of the German Club, said the German community is still trying to figure out what to do.
"We get a couple calls a day from people asking where to buy their meat now," Van Loosen said. "Oskar's was the go-to place for us. You can't replace that."
Karen Rogers, general manager of the Ukrainian Co-op in Regina, said Scheuerpflug didn't want to close, but health issues forced him to do it.
"It's hard to find somebody that wants to do this kind of work in society nowadays because it's heavy back breaking work," Rogers said. "It's long hours and that's not what a lot of people are looking for."
You can't buy them. No one will sell you their secret sausage recipe.- Karen Rogers, Manager of Ukrainian Co-op
Oskar's closing had unintended consequences for the German Club. The club has been forced to look in-house for some recipes and is now supplying some of its own cuts of meat. They are trying out other delis in the city, but most of the time now they take their business down the road to the Ukrainian Co-op.
When no one stepped forward to take over the business, Rogers volunteered to help fill the void left for his customers.
Rogers is quick to point out the Ukrainian Co-op is one of the oldest businesses in the city, and it's the only place you can buy sausage smoked outside over a wood-fire. However, to recreate some of Oskar's products, the Co-op needed Scheuerpflug's indoor smokehouse. His secret recipe came along with it.
Secret recipe now in new hands
Rogers said all the money in the world can't buy you a recipe that has been perfected over 40 years.
"Nobody will sell you their secret sausage recipes," she said. "With Oskar, it was more so that he could have his customers supplied with his stuff and more than money-wise, it's a trust. Do you trust the people to put out the quality product that you put out?"
She said everyday she serves her former clients and has worked with her new bosses to bring in some of the products that the German community depended on from Oskar's. Harty is one of Oskar's staff who migrated over to the Ukrainian Co-op.
Tune in Friday morning to hear the Morning Edition live from the Artful Dodger in Regina. The show shines a spotlight on Regina's Heritage community, home of the Ukrainian Co-op.