Kristen Bergers Fauson is a wife, a mother of three, and a Grand Haven native who has recently launched an artisanal sausage company, Link Love.
Kristen’s journey into sausage making is not what you’d call traditional. In fact, she went with the undergrad-at-Cornell-University-then-live-in-Moscow-through-both-Russian/Soviet-coups-then-move-to-D.C.-and-work-in-International-Development-then-Defense-Contracting- then-get-a-PhD-in-Comparative-Politics-THEN-start-making-sausage route. “All of which trained me very well for opening up my own sausage business!” she says, with a coy smile.
Her pre-sausage-making career and adventures aside, Kristen has always been a good cook, and when she wanted to make a more interesting and flavorful sausage for her family than what she was finding at the grocery store, she went ahead and taught herself to do it. “I can’t tell you how many times I’d stand in the meat aisle, looking despondently at all TWO options they had for me to choose from,” she said. “So I started brainstorming sausage flavors that I thought would taste good and created the recipes myself. Plus, by making the sausage at home, I could control what went into them.” Imagining that there were probably other home-cooks wishing for full-flavored, natural sausages, Kristen started exploring what it would take to start a business. “The biggest obstacle was going to be having a licensed commercial kitchen. When I saw that Uptown Kitchen was opening at the same time my business idea was coming together, I knew I could do it.”
While they are still doing some planning and preparing to be fully licensed and ready for business, Uptown Kitchen’s Grand Opening was the perfect opportunity for Link Love’s product launch.
If you came by during those Grand Opening days and had the opportunity to taste Link Love’s samples and talk with Kristen about her sausages, you know that they are naturally delicious—no preservatives, no MSG, no ingredients you can’t pronounce. She gets the pork from a local farm and she grinds it herself, here at Uptown Kitchen. And as local produce becomes more available this season, more of Kristen’s ingredients will come from local farms. “Creating a direct link to local food sources is very important to me.” Thus, “Link Love”.
Check out Link Love’s facebook page to learn more about the business and “Like” them for updates on new flavors and locations.
Currently, Link Love offers amazingly delicious gourmet sausages in five different flavors—Parmesan Peppercorn, Garlic, Apple & Gouda, Kalamata Olive & Feta, and Sweet Onion & Fennel—and Kristen is constantly perfecting new recipes and flavors. Link Love can take orders by facebook message or phone (616.607.0067) for pick-up directly at Uptown Kitchen. They will also be at the Ada Farmer’s Market from 12-6pm on Tuesdays, Fulton Street Farmers Market from 4-7:30 on Wednesdays and Village Farmers Market from 1-7 on Fridays.
old news (she won!!):
Now, before we go on to share Link Love’s story, we’d like to let you know what can you do to support Kristen and her business RIGHT THIS INSTANT (it will only take a minute!). Open a new tab and vote at this month’s 5×5 competition to give Kristen the chance to pitch her idea and compete for the $5,000 prize! Your support and Link Love’s win would allow Kristen to purchase processing equipment, launch the Link Love website, and accept online orders to expand her business. So please vote! It only takes a minute…