You’ve all heard of Brighton Sausage Co. haven’t you? It’s an independent, artisan maker of some of the finest produce anywhere in Sussex, they specialise in sausages, as you might have guessed, but there is more than that. Their retail outlet sits in the heart of the eclectic North Laine area of our vibrant city, on Gloucester Road. Neighbouring boutique businesses such as restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, tattoo parlours and free house pubs also call this stretch of the Lanes home. I recently interviewed co-owner Dave Barr, to talk about how this noble, community-focussed enterprise has carried on throughout the Corona chaos and how, against the odds, they continue to serve not only the remaining passers by in the Lanes but also deli-lovers far and wide, through their delivery service.
Dave, tell me about the history of Brighton Sausage Co. and the ethos and inspiration behind it.
Brighton Sausage Co. started back in 2007, as a small and independent business in the North Laine. The ethos behind the business was built around quality and creating the best products – using the finest ingredients, all sourced from the UK. Additionally, each supplier we work with has a keen focus on animal welfare.
How has the reputation and trade evolved from the early days up until now?
Initially there was a focus on creating products for our retail site (on Gloucester Road). We increasingly grew in popularity, including interest from other local and independent retailers. Boosting the scale of the product and refining the process behind them allowed for room to enhance the product range, to include all variations of meats, cheese and more.
How has the lockdown impacted your business?
When Corona hit, our primary concern was the workforce – how they would cope as much as how the business would be impacted. Obviously, we lost a large part of our customer base but we still maintained popularity from our retail site. But we had to adapt, to identify where the demand for our product was and logistically how could we then deliver it. Naturally, the lockdown has slowed us down, but we’re thankful we can still provide our products to families and communities in and around Brighton.
Can you predict how the future looks in terms of re-starting and surviving?
At this current time, it’s difficult to say. We remain optimistic – right now our focus is firmly on the current state of things. What is important for us as a business, is to maintain the relationships we had before the outbreak, as well as looking at other avenues, that have come from the relationships we’re forming now.
Tell us about your star products and your meat-free range and the star products there.
The biggest problem here is that we think they’re all great! We have won awards for our sausages and sausage rolls at country shows. Personally, our favourites sausages are bacon and maple syrup (one of our very first recipes), Cumberland (Champion Award winning) and our traditional sausage rolls (multi-award winning).
We have also had a reputable veg/vegan range since business started, which has grown considerably in more recent years. Our front runners are the traditional vegan sausage roll, roasted red pepper with tomato and garlic sausage, and Cumberland-style sausages.
What makes Brighton the right place to run your business? What are Brighton’s best attributes as a business owner?
The people. Full stop. It’s the forward thinking nature of Brighton overall. Our ethos would be in place regardless of the location – what we love is how much the people of Brighton react and appreciate it.
Is there any advice you can offer to other independent business owners in Sussex?
Every business owner will always take their own approach. The best advice we can give is to believe in what you do and be passionate about it. It’s amazing how people react to passion – and Sussex is the right place for it!
And so our saliva-inducing chat came to an end. What strikes me about Dave and his colleagues at Brighton Sausage Co. is their sheer determination, and resolve to carry on doing what they do best, through the turbulent, choppy waters of our one-off Sussex spring. The legs may be kicking at a pacey rate below the breakers to ensure this happens, but on the surface it’s business as usual. I can give first-hand testimony about the quality of the goods – we’ve kept our own fridge stocked up with the best meat-free burgers and sausages imaginable, throughout the pandemic weeks. Prices are very reasonable, the service is professional and reliable and we also tick our own altruism boxes by supporting such a Brighton-centric independent retailer. I hope you can consider doing the same.
All that and not a sausage pun in sight, or would that be telling porkies…
For all the information you need to know regarding Brighton Sausage Co. and how to order please visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/brightsausco/ and ask away. If you live outside of Brighton, fear not, they also deliver to Lewes, Lancing, Worthing and most places in between.