Meet the Makers: Uncle's Smallgoods

​What makes a commerce student working for the government change paths to become a sausage maker? We found out when we spoke to Bert from Uncle’s Smallgoods.

Uncle’s Smallgoods [123 Thomas Street, Dandenong] was initially established to cater for the many Eastern Europeans immigrants in the area, who were missing continental smallgoods found in their homelands. Uncle’s is a labour of love from Polish husband and wife team, Marian and Nora Poprawski. They offered carefully hand-crafted and wood smoked smallgoods, sausages and cured meats using century old methods and recipes from Poland. Today we are talking to Bert who, along with his friend Brendan, purchased the store from the Proprawski’s. The new owners have kept the tradition of Polish smoking and love for food very much alive, but revived the brand and are marketing to a larger Melburnian audience. 

Uncles-Owners
Owners Bert and Brendan
Tell us about your role at Uncle's Smallgoods

I’m a passionate sausage peddler. I’ve done every job at Uncle’s, from making and smoking sausages to driving our delivery truck, to serving our loyal deli customers and scrubbing the cool room floors. Nowadays I find myself spending time with our wholesale customers, talking to chefs about how best to use our products in their meals. We are also in the process of relocating factories, so a huge research task is underway to fit it out with the best equipment and maintain our old-fashioned roots. 

We hear that you have opened a new cafe?

Our new cafe, Sunny & Thor, is stocked for the lunch rush with a delicious rotating selection of meats from Uncle's Smallgoods. Customers can build their own tray, starting with their choice of bread, then salad and meat from Uncle's which was smoked that very morning. My favourite is the beef brisket and smoked salmon.

Tell us about your smallgoods making process

It’s simple. We use Australian meat and smoke it with real wood. No smoke flavour enhancers, no liquid smoke, no fillers, weight enhancing injectors or additives.

Bert-Uncles
Owner Bartek (Bert) Glinka
What can customers expect when they visit Uncle's?

Products that are not mass manufactured and sold in personality free supermarket fridges. Instead, you'll find a passionate bunch of people who believe in real food. 

What makes Uncle’s unique?

You cannot find deli meats this real and this fresh anywhere else in Australia. Get to know our deli staff and they’ll give you tips on when to come in and grab products that are still hot out of the smoker. 

What's are the most popular items on offer at Sunny & Thor and Uncle's?

Uncle's: I can’t name one. The country sausage, leg ham, beef brisket and the smoked salmon are all very popular. 
Sunny & Thor: Definitely the pulled pork burger.

Uncles-Body-2
The team at Uncle's Smallgoods
What made Dandenong the perfect place to start?

The growing scene and the incredible support. 

What is your favourite thing about the City of Greater Dandenong?

St Ali coffee at Young Uncle's Cafe or Sunny & Thor, of course. 

Any final words?

Remember, real wood smoke will set us free!

Brendan-Uncles-Smallgoods
Brendan outside of the smoker

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