the north face blacks King of Kolbassa expanding North End empire
The King of Kolbassa is expanding his empire.
I wish I could say I came up with that myself, but it came from Olga Klopick, also known as Mrs. Tenderloin.
Walter and Olga Klopick broke ground Friday on the new home of Tenderloin Meat and Sausage a North End institution that has spent more than 30 years at 1483 Main St. The new building will be just north of their current store on the other side of Lansdowne Avenue a vacant lot the Klopicks have owned for five years and used for parking.
The part I like most about this story is it the Klopicks investing in a community that has supported them. In 1972 Walter and Olga, both born and raised in the North End, started making garlic sausage at a grocery store on McPhillips Street.
The demand for their products brought them to Main Street in 1985, where they expanded their specialty butcher shop in the early 1990s. The new store, expected to open in the fall, will be 12,000 square feet and four times the size of the current one.
“My sons are in their 40s and they keep telling me maybe we shouldn have built in the North End, maybe we should go in the south end, said Walter, who would have none of that.
“I think the North End deserves something better, not that it doesn have a lot of good things. I so proud of being from the North End, too.”
When the Klopicks are ready to pull up steaks, uh stakes, and move across the street, the old building will be torn down to become a parking lot. The new store will stand out in the historic North End business district,
which hasn changed a lot over the years.
“The main floor will be retail and production for our wholesale division. The second floor is office space as well as a lunch room, changing and washroom facilities,” Walter said.
“We hope to increase our presence in Winnipeg,” Olga said.
“Unfortunately, the present government did not sign that agreement.”
The majority of Tenderloin products are made in house, but they also carry other local favourites such as Mom Perogies, Jeanne Cakes, cabbage rolls from Lewis Catering and bread from KUB, City Bread or Upper Crust from Selkirk everything one would need to stock a Manitoba social.
“We have a special social price and believe me, people really appreciate it when they come to a social and they know it from Tenderloin because they recognize our salami, which looks like a flower,” Olga said.
Being “the home of the best darn garlic sausage in Manitoba” and excelling in customer service is what allowed Tenderloin to thrive in an era dominated by large grocery chains, Olga said.
“Our meat is not wrapped in plastic so you can see both sides of it,” she said. “If you pick a steak in a package, you may think it looks good until you get home and find there a big bone in the back. With ours you can ask for your steak to be cut to a certain thickness.
“We have at least four of our staff that has been with us almost 10 years. Tenderloin has become a place that almost like Cheers. When the customer comes in, if they a regular, we almost always know what they want.”