Chrissy and Jim Flanagan (no relation) are life/business partners, and co-owners of bar/bistro The Sausage Factory in Dulwich Hill in the Inner West. They also founded and own Chrissy’s Cuts sausages and Sausage Queen brewing, both of which are showcased in the factory menu.
Both Chrissy and Jim are “slashies”, in that they’re pursuing multiple careers and businesses at the same time. As their own investors they’ve maintained their dayjobs as senior communications and management consultants while developing their businesses as artisan producers and restauranteurs. With no rest for the wicked, the pair also run an independent record label with friends, whose artists have recently had airplay on Triple J and FBI Radio. A podcast platform, documentary tv series and electronic music incubator for under-represented artists from Western Sydney are also in the works.
Without backgrounds or training in food, hospitality or business, Chrissy and Jim are both self taught. Only four years ago Chrissy learned how to make sausages from YouTube and roped the household cook Jim into developing recipes. In his very first attempt at the form Jim created the pork, bacon and maple sausages that remains one of Chrissy’s Cuts’ best sellers in supermarkets today.
Jim developed his sense of flavour as a teenager when his mother taught him to cook – it was either that or cleaning. Jim and his mother took on some wildly ambitious catering jobs, including his sister’s wedding and countless charity events for his mother’s favoured causes, but Jim had never officially worked an hour in a restaurant until the factory’s opening, for which he has developed all of the sausage recipes and menu items.
Chrissy too was new to hospitality, and leads the front of house at the factory, where she is known by locals as the Sausage Queen, recognisable by her distinctive knitted sausage earrings. The former vegetarian meticulously taste tests each of Jim’s new creations and polices the menu to ensure it’s both current and ex-vegetarian friendly.
As well as stocking supermarkets in inner Sydney, high profile chefs have also commissioned sausages from the pair, including David Tsirekas (1821, Perama), Somer Sivriogul (Anason, Efendy, Masterchef Turkey judge) and Warren Turnbull (Chur, Assiette).
The Sausage Factory is home to Chrissy’s Cuts sausages and Sausage Queen brewing, making up the backbone of the factory offering. Chrissy’s Cuts are hand twisted in small batches, made from whole cuts of meat, no junk, and certified free range. Sausage Queen favours lesser known beer styles and native ingredients.
Formerly an old Greek butcher’s shop, The Sausage Factory was transformed by a self-taught carpenter in an updated 1920s style with 100 year old reclaimed timber benches and hand-beaten copper lightshades.
With the option on the space sold for redevelopment as an office block, Jim and Chrissy set up the restaurant as “bolt in, bolt out”, in expectation of only having six months on site. Fortunately the sale fell through and the factory has now been welcoming sausage lovers for 21 months.
The factory menu features rotating Chrissy’s Cuts sausages, keeping a core of those available in supermarkets. Crowd favourites include the camel pastourma, lamb sumac and mint, and chicken, preserved lemon, honey and oregano.
Subversively, the seasonal factory salads are almost as popular as the sausages. Classics include pear, beetroot, labne, amaretti crumb and dill, and radicchio, cauliflower, hazelnut and prunes.
Long stocking Sydney only beers, the factory’s most recent manifestation as a brewery is a natural progression from beer lovers to beer producers. Early Sausage Queen beers have been made in collaboration with other slashies, including a cancer researcher, an IT guy and a foreign affairs consultant.