SRODEK’S CAMPAU QUALITY SAUSAGE, APRIL 6, 2007
Detroit Polonia loves ‘old school’, which is why the lines are out the door at Hamtramck’s popular Srodek's Campau Quality Sausage. Run by Joe Srodek and his son Rodney, we were lucky enough to get a third generation of Srodek (Joe’s dad, who founded the business, who has now retired to Florida).
And like good, old school Poles, Joe’s dad was given all respect throughout the entire shooting session, just as Rodney show to Joe. Still, the three sausage makers move together once again throughout the market with a certain harmony that only families can display. Joe and Rodney work the intimate store six days a week, producing their own sausage, smoking it in house. Joe attributes this to the family recipe, including quality meat, but also to his smoking techniques. Smoked in-house in a pair of gargantuan smokers, the true flavor-enhancer of the product, the wood, is the highest quality apple and black cherry wood from Wisconsin.
Of course, while the men are making the sausage, Joe’s wife Aurelia shows off the honey she produces from her own hives. A jolly woman ready to smile at any subject, she trades stories of beestings with the same full and hearty laugh as her stories of pierogi making: A woman’s prerogative, she assures us.
The family also shares the story of Hamtramck’s proudest moment, when Pope John Paul II rode the streets in his so-called Pope mobile. Following this historic 1980, a vacant corner store on Joseph Campau was torn down to make way for a papal mini-park. A statue of John Paul II, created by Bruno Nowicki looms above the enclosure whose wall sports traditional Polish motifs.