Cher-Make Sausage Company Celebrates 90 Years

Manitowoc, Wisconsin - (May 16, 2018) This month, Cher-Make Sausage Company is celebrating its 90th year in business. This locally-owned company has its roots in Manitowoc where three generations of family have held fast to high standards of authentic Wisconsin sausage manufacturing.

The company was founded in 1928 when Emil and Regina Chermak opened a small butcher shop on the Northside of Manitowoc. Emil had been employed in a butcher shop previously and with the skill and knowledge he had gained, decided he was ready to run his own shop. As the demand for their natural casing wieners, ring bologna and summer sausage grew, his son, Art, would deliver their small-batch, handmade sausages to neighboring towns and stores.

Due to the company's high standards and commitment to using only quality fresh meats, signature spice blends and hardwood smoke, Cher-Make grew rapidly and in 1938 expanded into a manufacturing plant located in downtown Manitowoc.

In the mid-forties, Art Chermak returned home from serving in WWII. He decided he would do what he loved: to continue in the family tradition of making high quality, authentic Wisconsin sausages. The company relocated to a new, larger location in Manitowoc in 1944 - which is where the company has its manufacturing facility today.

In 1950, Art Chermak entered a partnership with family member, Merlyn Hoefner. Through Merlyn's guidance the brand grew even more rapidly and in the mid-sixties the company expanded into private labeling summer sausage for holiday gift packers in Wisconsin. This new business channel established the need for the company to earn a Grant of USDA Inspection. In 1968, the plant was approved as a USDA-certified processing facility which would allow distribution of their sausages nationwide.

In 2001, Art was named to the Wisconsin Meat Industry's Hall of Fame for his participation in establishing the current USDA guidelines for shelf-stable summer sausage.

Today, Cher-Make products continue to be sold throughout North America, including Canada and Mexico, under numerous brands names - along with distribution of its own brand in the Midwest. Art's son, Tom Chermak, Merlyn's son, Chuck Hoefner, and Merlyn's son-in-law, Bill Becker, lead the company and continue in the same traditions that brought their families much success. Products are still made, packaged, and shipped from their Manitowoc facility which has had numerous additions throughout the years. Their sausages can also be found at the concession stands of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, and the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.

"90 years in business - it's quite an accomplishment. For a company to have that kind of longevity, with three generations of family running the operation, is pretty rare these days. I believe our success is due to our refusal to comprise on quality standards, ingredients and processes that make great tasting sausage! These values are what our fathers have passed along to us, which we still honor today," said Tom Chermak, President of Cher-Make Sausage Company.

Chermak continued, "We'd like to thank the many families, employees and customers that have grown alongside us�working together and enjoying our products for all these years. You all are a big part of our success. We will continue to commit ourselves to meeting your needs with handmade products that are authentic, great tasting, and support a healthy lifestyle, but never sacrifice quality. With our commitment to our product and our people, we can only go up from here."

For more information, contact Tom Chermak at or (920) 683-5980.

About Cher-Make Sausage Company

Founded by Emil and Regina Chermak in 1928, Cher-Make Sausage Company serves the branded and private-label industry and produces hot dogs, bratwurst, summer sausage, ring bologna, chicken sausage and smoked sausage. Products made at the company's plant at 2915 Calumet Ave. in Manitowoc are sold throughout North America. The company employs more than 120 people.

Cher-Make Big W Dogs are so good, you don't need anything on them at all! - Tim G.

Cher-Make is excellent! Clean place, friendly people and most of all, awesome food! - Tina D.

We love Cher-Make ring bologna smothered in sauerkraut! - Sue H.

Had your low fat, low calorie Chicken Brats last nite for the first time. They were excellent! - Ken H.

We found Cher-Make hot dogs about five years ago and have not bought any other brand since, the flavor is great! - Shirley D.

Every time I visit my parents in Wisconsin I bring home a suitcase full of Summer Sausage, and I make them bring as many sausages as they can fit every time they come visit me. Unfortunately I'm down to my last sausage right now, and I'm months away from another visit. My little girls are going to be so sad without their sausage sandwiches for lunch, and we just can't get anything good out here in California. Keep up the good work, and let me know if you can help us out! - Dave L.

My son Dave lives in Long Beach, CA and I always take Cher-Make beef summer sausage and hotdogs (per his request) in my suitcase when I visit. It's the only type he (and 4 yr old granddaughter) likes. Do you ship directly from your factory? She turns 4 next week, she wants a desk and summer sausage for her birthday from Grandma. - Susan L.

Just to let you know we enjoy your natural casing hot dogs and polish sausage, might be the best we've ever had - KEEP IT COMING! - Robert C.

We live too far from home to get the good stuff locally. We would like to buy online in 50-100# lots. Maybe larger. Please save us from the inferior products that proliferate the grocery store counters. We need our Cher-Make sausage. - Phil B.

I love your stadium hot dogs and brats on the grill. It's not a tailgate party without them! - Shannon K.

I won't buy anything else. Cher-Make is the best. - Venus M.

Cher-Make is the only summer sausage I will ever buy! - Becky B.

We recently found your natural casing wieners here in Michigan. Great snap and wonderful flavor! - Pat B.

This was the first time I purchased your product. I bought 2 packages of your Homegame fully cooked bratwurst. They were great! We roasted them over our campfire and they tasted wonderful! I plan to try more of your products in the future. I am always glad to support great WI products. Keep up the good work! - Jane M.

Congratulations on the wonderful "easy to open" packaging on your ring bologna. What a treat to easily open your product. Thank you. - Janet A.

I typically don't like brats, but your pepper jack chicken brats are awesome! - Maggie T.

We always take a couple sticks of summer sausage along when we go on vacation out of state! - Joann H.