WYANDOTTE, Mich. – Of all things, sausage is what bound Pete Spanitz and his twin brother together. They would make it in Paul’s kitchen in Wyandotte on the weekends.
“We came up with 25 flavors over the years, some that were great, others I probably wouldn’t repeat, but it was fun to experiment,” Pete said.
Back in 2011, while the brothers were on a boat, tragedy struck.
“Paul jumped off the back of the boat to swim to a raft and had a heart attack and drowned in front of me,” Pete said. “That was tough. It was the hardest day of my life."
The teacher at Lincoln Park High School passed away a few days shy of his 38th birthday. Months later, a grieving brother made a big decision.
“The sausage company is something he and I always talked about developing,” Spanitz said. “I decided I would pursue it. I’m going to leave a steady paycheck and go into trying to sell sausage full time."
That’s when Spanitz Bros. Sausage Co. became a reality. The former auto executive said the sausage business was humbling at first. But now, as he makes the four retail recipes perfected by Paul, and works to distribute them in stores, Pete said his brother’s legacy lives on.
“I think about him every time I make it or do a demo or pick something up for the business,” Pete said. “He’s always on the forefront of my mind.”
A portion of the sales of Spanitz Bros. Sausage goes to a scholarship at Lincoln Park High School in Paul Spanitz’s name.
You can find the sausage in local stores, such as Westborn Market and Randazzos, as well as some stores in Traverse City.