Gummy bear brats become big hit in Hugo

12:25 PM, Jul 9, 2011   |    comments
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HUGO, Minn. -- A Hugo meat market just may have discovered the next "big thing" when it comes to what to cook up on your grill.

Grundhofer's Old-Fashion Meats is known for its bratwursts. The meat market boasts about 40 different flavors of brats. But a few years ago, the owner of the market stumbled onto a flavor that just may be what the meat industry -- and its consumers -- have been waiting for: Gummy Bear brats.

"It's been a lot of fun to make something that no one else has made. And make something that was a gag to start with," said Spencer Grundhofer, who opened his market four years ago.

A few years ago, Spencer asked for suggestions from his customers. What flavor brat should he make next? His friend and neighbor, Joe Berglund, had some suggestions.

"I gave him a list, one of them happened to be Gummy brats. He told me, 'I'm not making those,'" Berglund said.

But Berglund, who works as a mechanic just a brat's length from Grundhofer's meat market, didn't give up. He sent his customers to Grundhofer and told them to ask for the "Gummy Bear brat."

"Once a week I'd get a nasty phone call, 'quit sending people over asking for those. I'm not going to make them,'" Berglund said.

But eventually, Grundhofer did.

"Finally after six months, I called his bluff," Grundhofer said. "I went and got some Gummy bears. I said, 'you know what? I made them, you eat them.'"

Berglund did. And the rest, you could say, is sweet history.

Grundhofer says the brats taste both sweet and sour, a flavor that seems to be hitting the mark. He estimates he makes between 50 and 75 pounds of the Gummy Bear brats every week.

And Grundhofer's just "bearly" getting started. He's already trying to discover the next big flavor: grape, orange and cherry Kool-Aid brats.

Grundhofer is also open to customers' suggestions. Anyone who hits upon a good idea will get $25 and a couple packs of brats.

Meantime, Grundhofer's just waiting to see what's next with a concoction he never imagined could have such strong appeal.

"It'd be nice to be known for the original Gummy Bear brat which I think we are," he said. "I don't know anybody else that's done it."


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