For almost 25 years, Wendell Wedel and his wife operated Main Street Café in Durham.
After the July 4, 2019, flood destroyed the business, Wedel retired and sold it. He was 65.
Suddenly removed from the restaurant business, Wedel got restless.
“Being in food that long, food was my passion,” he said. “I still wanted to do something.”
He built a double garage at his home in Durham last year and added a commercial kitchen.
He became licensed for wholesale and retail in October. He said Wedel Meat and Sweets is more like a hobby than a full-time business.
A lot of other people are doing what he is doing, so selling wholesale is very competitive, he said. His products are available at Dale’s Supermarket in Hillsboro and Trail Stop Store in Tampa.
Most of his sales are retail. Customers come to his kitchen to pick up orders, though.
The sausage Wedel was famous for making at Main Street Café is now made at Swiss Burger Brand Meat Co. in Wichita. The company was the source of most of the meat he served at the café but is making Wedel’s pork sausage for the first time.
Wedel said the sausage isn’t quite like it was when he made it because the COVID pandemic made it difficult for the company to get lean hog meat.
“It has improved through time,” he said. “It’s getting close to how I made it.”
Wedel makes chicken sausage and sausage patties in his kitchen with meat ground in Wichita. He recently acquired a new stuffing machine.
He bakes cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls, and fruit rolls, which he usually has on hand.
He also makes special-order pies, peppernuts, and verenika.
He sometimes prepares meals for fundraisers in the community.
Wedel said the biggest challenge is not having as many ingredients on hand as when he ran the café. He sometimes has to run to a grocery store to get what he needs.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “I don’t like to be too busy, but right now, I could use more business.”
He prefers that people call his home phone at (620) 732-2582 to place orders. They can leave a message, if necessary. His cell phone number is (620) 382-5840. His email address is email@example.com.