Vollwerth & Co. was started in 1915 by a German
immigrant by the name of Richard Vollwerth. The
company's quite humble beginning, in the basement of a
Hancock home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, had one very
important outcome in mind- to make great, quality
Richard was later joined in the building
of this business by his three sons, Joseph Fisher,
George Vollwerth, and Robert Vollwerth. They were
dedicated to making the finest quality sausage using the
original recipes provided by Richard Vollwerth.
In the 1920's, as the demand for the sausage increased,
the business was relocated to a larger, more modern and
efficient facility in Hancock, MI, in the heart of
Michigan's Copper Country, where it remains to this day.
Not only did the building size increase, but so did the
distribution area. Vollwerth's sausage had now expanded
its sales throughout the local area and further into
Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
In the 1930's,
despite the devastating effects of the Great Depression
on the local economy, Vollwerth & Co. continued its
expansion as demand for its fine products continued to
increase. The company, at this time, opened its first
distribution branch in Iron Mountain, MI. This facility
employed numerous people who handled the distribution of
their delectable, quality sausage in that area of the
In 1948, Richard Vollwerth
retired, leaving his business in the hands of his three
capable sons. The early 1960's saw yet another expansion
of Vollwerth & Co. into the Marquette, MI area with a
new, modern manufacturing facility being built there.
Diversification was "the name of the game" and this
division specialized in the distribution of quality
foods to restaurants, hotels, and institutions.
Vollwerth & Co. was indeed growing, expanding, and
moving forward with its long history of making only the
finest quality sausage.
The Eastern end of the
Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste. Marie, was the next area to
receive a distribution center. Vollwerth & Co. continued
its growth throughout the 1960's and 70's, employing
more than 120 people, with distribution of its
delectable sausage throughout the entire Upper
In 1970, Vollwerth &Co. won state and
national acclaim as being the first meat processor in
the state of Michigan to comply with the "Wholesome Meat
Act of 1967."Permanent full-time federal inspectors were
then assigned to each of their meat processing plants.
With this new federal inspection program in place,
Vollwerth's was now able to sell their sausage
throughout the entire United States.
By the late
1970's, the three sons retired and a successful
transition to the 3rd generation of family running the
company had begun. Don Fisher (Joseph's son) and Robert
"Butch" Vollwerth (Robert's son), were to continue the
tradition of quality sausage making for the next three
In the 1980's, with better roads and
modern refrigerated transportation, Vollwerth & Co.
chose to centralize its operation out of its original
Hancock location. This allowed the entire Upper
Peninsula to continue to enjoy the tasty tradition of
quality meats all made and delivered fresh from the
company's original town.
Now, 100 years after
Richard Vollwerth started the company, there are
currently 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation family members
involved with the company in various positions.
Since 1915, Vollwerth & Co. of Hancock has been
preparing delectable sausage in a time honored,
traditional way. The recipes handed down by Richard
Vollwerth and the original brick-lined, old world
smokehouse that were used for 100 years continue to give
Vollwerth sausage its distinctive taste and
distinguished place of honor.