Makers+Mongers: Sausage shares stage with cheeseburgers

Michael McKenzie of Seed to Sausage in Sharbot Lake, Ontario. Photo by Ottawa Citizen.
Michael McKenzie of Seed to Sausage in Sharbot Lake, Ontario. Photo: Ottawa Citizen.

The Day of the Pig comes but once a year (usually mid-May, in case you’re wondering) but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy handcrafted cured meats at any time, thanks to Seed to Sausage. Joining the Makers+Mongers celebration at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival this Saturday, Seed to Sausage brings a commitment to ethically raised animals and a dedication to making things their own, sourcing products right back to the seed they began with.

Beyond that, the Seed to Sausage brand has also become an ambassador for Ontario’s artisan producers, offering venues for smaller businesses to begin sharing their products with urban markets.

If you’ve never ventured out to Sharbot Lake, Ontario, now is the time to do it. Begun by chef and entrepreneur Michael McKenzie only a few years ago, Seed to Sausage has quickly gained recognition, to the point where it’s now hard to believe we’ve ever sourced our bacon from anywhere else. The principles of “local. ethical. humble.” craft are at the core of the Seed to Sausage brand, where everything is handmade in small batches.

For Makers+Mongers, Seed to Sausage will
For Makers+Mongers, Seed to Sausage will grill Jalapeño cheese curd smokies. Photo: Laura Voskamp.

From sausages (don’t miss the Maple Walnut variety) to bacon (all varieties are made using real hickory smoke) to dry cured meats (McKenzie’s cuts are dry aged for 80 days), the S2S roster is extensive. Minimal added ingredients mean that the flavours of the meat shine through in McKenzie’s products, injecting a distinctly Canadian profile into traditional European styles.

Beyond his own products, the Sharbot Lake Seed to Sausage headquarters also boasts a gourmet grocery store, stocked with all manner of accoutrements to help you enjoy your salumi to the max. You’ll find crackers, salts, and preserves, all selected with the meats in mind.

This offering spills over into Seed to Sausage’s newest outpost: The S2S General Store, located on Gladstone Avenue in Ottawa. Born as a collaboration between multiple facets of Ottawa’s food scene, McKenzie has created a space where chefs, bloggers, and producers can come together to create a distribution point for small producers. The aim isn’t to be exclusive though: the S2S General Store wants its shoppers to love the products so much that they begin to ask for them at their local stores, opening up the scene for local producers to gain their own following.

Unauthorized photo of Mike McKenzie break dancing in the straw at Makers+Mongers last year.
Unauthorized photo of Mike McKenzie break dancing in the straw at Makers+Mongers last year. Photo: Vanessa Simmons.

And a following they’re sure to gain as McKenzie brings the local. ethical. humble. philosophy to the Cheeseburgers in Paradise soiree this Saturday. While we’ve yet to find a Jimmy Buffett song that sings the praises of bratwurst, it wouldn’t be a grill-up without sausages, and you’ll want to be sure to save room to try the Jalapeño cheese curd smokies McKenzie and his crew will serve alongside Burger Revolution’s gourmet cheeseburgers.

The fifth anniversary of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival—the biggest artisan cheese show in Canada—takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, in Picton, Ontario, at the Fairgrounds. For complete information and tickets, please visit

—Laura Voskamp
By night, Laura Voskamp is a cheese lover and freelance writer. By day, she’s Communications Coordinator for Bay of Quinte Tourism and Bay of Quinte Living.

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  1. Hello Cheese Lover, I can’t find a twitter or Facebook link on your site, do you have that? I will retweet etc.

    thanks Barbara (I rep Cdn artisinal ciders and cider products that go perfectly with cheese!)

    1. You should see buttons for Twitter, Facebook et al just above these comments. Under small heading that says “Share this.”

      On Twitter, reach me at @cheeseloverg. Share the hashtag #TGCCF.

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