Carmel and Monterey [on occasion]
Fresh and frozen pork sausage, available in 1-lb. packages as link or bulk and 4-lb. rope; frozen chili made from pork sausage, available in 16-oz. tubs.
Fresh and frozen pork sausage: Italian Sausage — a mixture of choice pork, fennel, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, basil, garlic, salt and coarse black pepper and available as mild, sweet, hot, XXX-rated hot and 5X-rated hot; Breakfast Sausage — choice pork with spices such as ginger, nutmeg and sage; Char-Dong-Yeah — Kurobuta pork mixed with wild organic fennel, bathed in Ventana Chardonnay and infused with butterscotch morsels; Syrahsage — Kurobuta pork combined with Ventana Syrah and 60 percent cacao chocolate.
Frozen chili: Adirondack Mountain Deer Camp Chili — a spicy blend of 20 ingredients including Cowboy Sausage, Hahn Pinot Noir, Carmel Brewing Co. Pale Ale, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, fresh garlic and cumin.
Born and raised in Albany, N.Y., Butch Francis moved to Salinas with his wife Tonie in 1998. They eventually discovered that Italian food was prepared differently in California than what they had been used to in New York, so Butch and Tonie began making sausage at home. Of Italian descent, Tonie had grown up making Italian sausage with her father. Using that same family recipe, Tonie and Butch began making sausage and sharing it with family and friends, who encouraged the couple to make additional varieties, such as breakfast sausage and spicy sausage.
In 2010, Butch moved the sausage-making operation to a commercial kitchen and started Cowboy Sausage and Chili Co. He began selling his handcrafted, gluten-free and all-natural sausage and chili made from sausage — an adaptation of a venison chili he had first made back in Albany in the 1980s for family and friends — at farmers markets. He joined the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets [MBCFM] that same year. He can be found at the Carmel market each Tuesday and the Monterey market on occasion, selling Cowboy Sausage and Chili Co.’s products alongside Kelvin Hoover, an 18-year-old former neighbor who has assisted him since the business first went commercial.
Currently, Cowboy Sausage and Chili Co. makes 20 different varieties of sausage and five of chili. Since 2012, a number of varieties are made with Kurobuta pork — often referred to as the Kobe beef of pork — from Snake River Farms in Boise, Idaho. At the farmers markets, the business brings the same 10 sausage varieties and three chili varieties each week with additional varieties brought on occasion.
Cowboy Sausage also sells its products online, and Butch has created customized sausage varieties for a number of wineries located in the area, serving the varieties at special events.
Read more about Cowboy Sausage and Chili Company’s awards and accolades at festivals with their award winning chili.