'queen of pork' spreads love of artisan cured meats one sausage at a time

Melissa Khoury loves pork so much that she's earned the title “Queen of Pork.” Growing up watching local butchers cut her steaks, then gaining even more exposure to butcheries while living in Atlanta, Khoury discovered her passion early on.
 
When Khoury moved back to Cleveland in 2009, she worked as a chef in a number of well known restaurants with no intention of staying in town. But then, everything began falling into place and Saucisson was born in 2013.
 
Saucisson sells hand-cured meats and specialty sausages, all sourced from local farmers and butchers. Currently, Khoury works out of the Cleveland Culinary Launch and sells her products at local farmers markets and the Cleveland Flea.
 
From chorizo to smoked Tasso ham, Khoury has found her calling. “I love everything about it,” she says. “It’s like my Zen. It’s me and my animal and it’s relaxing to me.”
 
Khoury’s love of pork was no secret to area chefs, but she was less known to retail consumers. “When I started the company, chefs in the city knew who I was and knew about my pork obsession, but the general consumer didn’t know unless they were patrons of one of the restaurants I worked at,” she says.
 
Khoury is a big supporter of other local businesses like Fresh Fork Market, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and New Creations Farm in Geauga County. They often work together to share their creations. For example, Khoury buys her meat from New Creations, sells her sausage through Fresh Fork and uses Thirsty Dog lager in some of her sausages.
 
Now that customers have had a chance to get to know Khoury and the products she sells through Saucisson, her next goal is to open a female-owned butcher shop. In doing so, she wants not only to sell her products, but also inform the general public about fresh and cured meats and sustainable butchery.
 
"I educate the general consumer, whether it’s a sausage sandwich or spaghetti sauce,” she explains. “It’s cool to see people get adventurous with my products. But I don’t want to make anything that will scare anyone away. I’m making sausage approachable.”
 
To help achieve those goals, Khoury recently brought on Penny Barend as a business partner.

 
Source: Melissa Khoury
Writer: Karin Connelly