By Joshua Estabrooks

Special to the Pioneer

For the second year in a row, the lads at Konig Meat and Sausage Company have come away from the Fraser Valley Food Shows Great Canadian Sausage Making Competition (October 2nd to 5th) with a number of awards for their outstanding products.

Co-owner Craig McGowan said the team took home two first place finishes, two second place finishes and a third place finish this year. Their first place sausages included a beer sausage and their Boerewors, which is a South African farmers sausage, while their second place wieners were a Westphalian Ham and their locally popular Chimney Sticks. Third place went to Konigs Western Bratwurst.

Last year we placed second in two categories so this year we placed a lot better and there was a lot more competition, he said. There are a lot of little shops like ours competing but there are also a lot of larger ones as well.

Both Mr. McGowan and head butcher Michael Hecken traveled down to the lower mainland for the competition, which allows them to meet and mingle with butchers and sausage makers from all over Western Canada.

The results from the event definitely are encouraging to both Mr. McGowan and Mr. Hecken, but at the same time if a product doesnt do well at the competition they wont necessarily alter it for the local market.

Sometimes we have a product that people in town here really like but it wont perform well at the competition. That doesnt mean we will change it, as at the end of the day were here to serve our local market, said Mr. McGowan.

The main idea behind the competition for the guys at Konig is not just a chance to get away and see how their products stand up to the hundreds of other small town shops throughout Western Canada, but also to learn new ideas and get inspired by what other young, hip butchers are doing on the block.

We develop relationships with these other shops, and we get to see whats working and whats not for them. We can then take that information back to our shop and apply it accordingly to make a better product and overall experience for our customers, said Mr. McGowan.

Going into their third summer as business partners, Mr. McGowan said he and Mr. Hecken are excited for the future of the business, and continuing to win more at the annual October competition.

Our customers are happy, the store is busy, you couldnt ask for anything more, Mr. McGowan said.

So before you fire up your next pack of sausages from the guys at Konig, remember that some of that meat could very well be award winning.