Meet the Makers: Uncle's Smallgoods

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

Uncle’s [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 offer 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. 

Owners Bert and Brendan
Please tell us about your role at Uncles Small Goods

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 café, tell us about it. 

Uncle’s Smallgoods supplies our new café Sunny & Thor, for their lunch rush they receive a rotating selection of meats smoked that morning. Customers can build their own tray starting with salad, choice of bread and add the meat straight out of the smoker – my favourite is the Beef Brisket & Smoked Salmon.

Can you 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.

Owner Bartek (Bert) Glinka
What can customers expect when they visit Uncles?

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

What makes Uncle’s and the café unique?

You cannot find Deli meats this real and this fresh anywhere else in Australia. Get to know the 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 is the most popular item on the menu at the Café and the Deli?

Deli – can’t name one, Country Sausage, Leg Ham, Beef Brisket and the Smoked Salmon. 
Café – Pulled pork burger

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

Growing scene, incredible support. 

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

St Ali coffee at Young Uncles Cafe or Sunny & Thor of course. 

Any final words?

Remember, real wood smoke will set us free! 

Brendan Outside of the Smoker