After picking up a €9 meat grinder at Mauerpark flea market one Sunday, Simon Ellery’s fate was sealed. These days, the New Zealand native can be found at the helm of a legendary sausage-making business which offers its loyal fans carefully-sourced meat and flavour combinations a world away from the traditional Wurst.
Serendipity has excellent taste. Once upon a sunny Sunday, New Zealand-born Simon Ellery, trained butcher, sauntered through the flea market in Berlin’s Mauerpark. He happened upon a stand with a hand meat grinder on sale, and bought it for just nine euros. He started to experiment at home, combining exciting aromas, such as jalapeño and cheddar cheese.
Continuing to refine his methods, Simon Ellery tried out different blends of spices, regional vegetables, nuts, and herbs. When combined with the meat, the flavours came alive — apricot and thyme, for example. But Simon Ellery doesn’t stop at sausage. At Markthalle Neun, his jalapeño cheddar and French andouille sausages are flanked by dry-cured and cold-smoked bacon strips or black and white pudding made according to a traditional Scottish recipe.
If you don’t have the time to wait on a Saturday when Simon Ellery sells his meats at the historic indoor market in Kreuzberg, you can find a selection of his products at Blomeyer’s Käse in Charlottenburg or Goldhahn & Sampson in Prenzlauer Berg. The way he stands in front of his stall, long hair pulled back and dressed in a black hoodie and heavy boots, he looks more like a rockstar than a sausage visionary. And that sentiment has some truth to it.
After finishing his butcher’s training back in New Zealand, he departed for London in 2008, where he spent two years exploring his passion for meat. The motto of his boss in London, “the sausage man never sleeps,” first became a song Simon Ellery wrote for his heavy metal band before it took its rightful place as the name of the store he opened in Berlin in 2014.
So does he feel like a sausage revolutionary? “In Berlin, yes,” says Simon Ellery. “I’m interested in making things you can’t get anywhere else. So I’m not really competing with German butchers.” He also sells his products to restaurants and organises sausage-making courses. Simon Ellery sources his meat from the German farming community of Schwäbisch Hall. At a butcher’s shop on Greifswalder Strasse he tests out new combinations almost every week.
He sometimes even dreams of new sausage recipes. Even the sausage man has to sleep sometimes.
All photos by Lena Ganssmann
Read more from our Planet Berlin series: Perelic Woolen Goods — Blankets from the Balkan mountains
The Sausage Man Never Sleeps (Markthalle Neun)
Eisenbahnstr. 42–43 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg
T (+49) 171 584 19 08