Fred Usinger, Inc., better known as Usinger’s, is a sausage-making company located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Old World Third Street within the Old World Third Street Historic District. Usinger’s was the official supplier of hot dogs to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The company is controlled by the Usinger family. The founder’s great-grandson currently heads Usinger’s. The company welcomed the publicity, and shipped out another 200,000 hot dogs within a week.
Fred Usinger, an apprentice sausage maker from Wehen in Germany, emigrated to Milwaukee in the late 1870s. Usinger found work at a small butcher shop on Third Street owned by a Mrs. Julia Gaertner. After approximately a year, Usinger purchased Gartner’s business and married her niece, Louise. The couple grew the business and, eventually, their sausage was being shipped nationally. Usinger’s made close to 100 different types of sausages in its early years, using heirloom recipes and meticulously fresh ingredients. Frederick Usinger died in 1930. Control of the company passed to his son, Frederick Usinger, Jr.
A distribution center in the Walker’s Point neighborhood was opened in 1994. During the 1990s, operational control passed to the fourth generation siblings, Fritz and Debra Usinger.
Usinger’s celebrated its centennial in 1980. Although the plant had expanded and modernized in many ways, some things had hardly changed. Some of the production work, such as peeling onions, was still done by hand in 1980. Automatic equipment was approved only if it did not change the taste of the sausage. The company had experimented with an automatic smoker sometime in the 1970s, and returned the equipment when Mr. Usinger tasted the sausage and found both the flavor and texture changed. So the plant continued to smoke its summer sausage in a traditional wood pit smokehouse.
According to referenceforbusiness.com; en.wikipedia.org. Source of photos: internet