The Zest: Andrew Tambuzzo On Sausage And Heritage

Sep 26, 2019

Many well-known local restaurants swear by the sausages they get from the Tambuzzo Sausage Company of Tampa. The butchery recently opened up its new location in West Tampa, alongside the company's cafe, "The Boozy Pig." Owner Andrew Tambuzzo says it's a new chapter in what's been a very old tradition for his family in Ybor City -- that is, making sausage.

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"I never questioned why we did it," he says, "because I'd been doing it for so long...It's on both sides of my family. My mom's family had the grocery story Cacciatore and Sons on Armenia. I grew up in that grocery store making sausage as a kid. And my grandfather on my father’s side, Joe Tambuzzo, is the one that actually showed me how to make sausage. We still have all of his equipment in my shop on display." 

Pig heads hang from the Tambuzzo Sausage Company of Tampa. ROBIN SUSSINGHAM/WUSF Public Media

The recipe was passed down to his grandfather from his grandfather's uncle. "It's something that's always been in my family," he says.

Tambuzzo says he tries to use as many local vendors as he can: pork from a Brooksville farm; grass-fed beef also from Brooksville; eggs and honey from south Tampa. He wants his customers to know where the food comes from. He also wants them to know exactly how the sausage is made, so all the business happens behind a large glass window.

"It was really important to me to be able to provide that transparency, to be able to provide the education as to what actually is involved, what we're actually doing," Tambuzzo says. "And to just close that gap from producer to consumer."

Tambuzzo recently moved his business from his father's garage to a site in West Tampa near the new Midtown Tampa development. "You can already feel South Tampa moving this way," he says. "Midtown is going to be great for the whole neighborhood, so we're really excited about that."

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The sausage recipe was passed down to Joe Tambuzzo’s grandfather from his grandfather’s uncle. ROBIN SUSSINGHAM/WUSF Public Media