Bay City Sausage often catches the eye of travelers up and down Coastal State Route 105, and “once they stop, they start stopping all the time,” owner Ronda Strode says.
She got her start at Bay City Sausage by chance in the mid-1990s, and she’s since become well-known in the area for specializing in various types of hand-made smoked sausage and beef jerky.
The link between local folkways and the economic health of communities is clear in Ronda’s story. She used a loan to buy Bay City Sausage in 2000, and considers it a generational partnership - “this is their store,” she says of her two grown children, Kyle and Kami, who work alongside her at the shop. Their responsiveness to the residents of Aberdeen has led them to change a few things over the years, but the vast majority of their recipes come straight from Otto Schniadt, the original shop owner. “It’s hard working with family,” Ronda says, but Kami notes that, when you work with people you love, “you realize what you have.”