CLEVELAND — In Slavic village, making sausage is an artform that goes back hundreds of years. And Saucission is bringing that old-world skill right into 2020, thanks to the self-proclaimed "Lady Butchers" Melissa Khoury and Penny Barend Tagliarina.
"We're just two girls cutting up meat, doing what we love," Khoury told 3News' Sara Shookman during a recent interview.
From farmer's markets to their Fleet Avenue storefront – this artisan meats and sausage shop is celebrating six years in business this year. It all started back in 2012, when both were burned out of the restaurant industry.
"I quit my job, called [Penny], told her I quit my job and that I was starting this like charcuterie business and I was gonna sell at farmer's markets and I was just gonna figure the rest out as I went and...come and you know, be my business partner," Khoury recalled.
"Everyone was like, 'Oh my god you're moving to Cleveland!' and I was like no effing way. And then by the end of April I was driving across the country. And we've been figuring it out ever since," said Barend Tagliarina.
In case you're wondering, saucisson means sausage in French. Not many people pronounce it correctly Khoury told us, but, "you get real excited [when they do.] They're like I don't know if I'm saying it right, and we're like you nailed it!" she said, laughing.
Community and education are two intentional byproducts of the butchering business at Saucisson. Its neighbors are customers and suppliers, and the duo are committed to using, selling and celebrating local products.
"Even if you don't buy something from us, if you walked out with a little bit more knowledge than you came in here with, I feel like we've done a huge service. Because then we send you out into the world - whether you're at a farmers market or a grocery store, you now have a little bit more knowledge to pick something that is a little bit better for you," Khoury explained.
Those are the lessons that can be learned over the counter – then there are the more formal ones they offer in the kitchen by hosting monthly sausage making and other workshops. Find out more about those here.
There are also events intentionally designed to continue to foster a relationship with their Slavic Village community.
"We believe in it and we wouldn't put our business here if we didn't and it's something that we've kind of decided we're taking you know the reins of and going to really try hard to change the narrative of the neighborhood," said Khoury.
"It's not the norm, but who cares about norms? We're super passionate about what we do, we're super knowledgeable and we love being here and doing this, Barend Tagliarina added.
Two lady butchers...making Slavic Village a dining destination.