FORMER Adelaide smallgoods and sausage king Stan Ciechanowicz has come out of retirement and opened a factory in Cairns.
The award-winning industry stalwart has invested $2 million in his Portsmith operation, Stanpol Smallgoods, to fill a niche that he has identified in the Far North, Cairns Post reports.
He said he believed there was a need for quality, good value smallgoods in the region. He is making and selling a wide variety from sausages to hams, including chicken, veal, beef and pork products.
The 67-year-old retired to the Far North two years ago after selling his $14 million-a-year Standom business in Adelaide.
"But I was bored. I couldn't stand it any more. It is my hobby, my life," he said.
Mr Ciechanowicz said he was buying all his meats in the Far North and hiring staff from the region.
The Redden St factory opened for business on Saturday with two apprentices and two butchers as well as retail sales staff.
"I'm looking for more apprentices and butchers. As the business grows I will hire more," Mr Ciechanowicz said.
He has been in the smallgoods business all his life after migrating to Australia from Poland aged 14.
Mr Ciechanowicz became an apprentice at Smyk Smallgoods, owned by Bill Jones in Adelaide and two years later acquired his hawker's licence.
While still doing his apprenticeship, he started selling the products door to door around the city and further afield to Gawler and Salisbury.
He also worked as a barman at a soccer stadium.
After completing his apprenticeship, he moved to Sydney to learn about the tricks of the trade from smallgood masters.
Mr Ciechanowicz's recipe book filled up quickly as he gathered his skills and knowledge at six different factories.
He was working with Swiss man Dominic Betchel at Blue Ribbon smallgoods when they decided to go out on their own and Standom was formed.
After 10 years, Mr Ciechanowicz bought out his partner.
From a two-man business it grew to 110 staff, one factory and eight outlets and another seven stores which are combined with butcher shops.
Today Standom, acquired by the Cormack and Rowe families, produces 30-40 tonnes of smallgoods a week, sold in South Australia and interstate.
In 2010, he was inducted into the inaugural AMIC National Sausage King Hall of Fame. It came after a record-breaking streak of national sausage king titles, from 2000-2008.
Mr Ciechanowicz said he loved living in Cairns but was "a workaholic" and needed to keep active.
He hoped the new business would be as successful as his South Australian operation.
His products are also available at Byrnes Meats at Portsmith and Manunda and Choice Cut Meats at Smithfield.
"Darcy Byrnes of Byrnes Meats helped me a lot. He let me use his factory to make my smallgoods two months before my factory started," Mr Ciechanowicz said.
"Because of him I was able to get up and running before Christmas."
Read more at Cairns Post.