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October 22, 2018 Family Business Awards 2018

Martin Rosol's celebrates 90 years of homemade meats

Tim Rosol, Sarah Rosol and Ted Rosol represent the third and fourth generations of Martin Rosol's, an iconic meat-making company based in New Britain. The family business is best-known for its hot dogs and kielbasa. (Top right photo) The late Robert Rosol and his father, Eugene Rosol, stand next to a giant kielbasa. The portrait is of company founder Martin Rosol.

1st Place — Less than 25 full-time employees category

Martin Rosol's Inc.

Headquarters: New Britain

Industry: Food

Year Founded: 1928

Founder: Martin Rosol

Generation Currently Running Company: 4th

No. of Full-Time Employees: 22

No. of Part-Time Employees: 0

Family Members Currently Employed at Company: Sarah Rosol, President, wife of the late Robert Rosol, who was the third-generation president; Theodore Rosol, General Manager, son; Timothy Rosol, Chief of Operations, son.

Company Website:

Five-year-old Ted Rosol walked into the New Britain baseball stadium in 1995 and was awestruck. The bright green grass, the sounds of the crowd and the sight of so many fans eating hot dogs stay with him to this day.

Rosol, now 28 and general manager of Martin Rosol's meat products, recalled this revelatory moment in his life during a series of interviews as the family business celebrates its 90th anniversary.

His late father, Robert, who died in 2017 at age 57, would take Ted and big brother, Tim, now 30 and the chief operating officer, on deliveries.

“It was a good time for all of us,” Ted Rosol said. “It was just nice to see how many people enjoy our hot dogs. I started to understand the family business.”

Over time, the brothers would learn how to produce more than 125,000 pounds of kielbasa during the Easter season and anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds of hot dogs daily during the summer.

Annual sales range from $3 million to $3.5 million.

Right up to today, the current New Britain baseball team, the Bees, highlights Martin Rosol's hot dogs in its promotions. Martin Rosol's, besides selling mass quantities of hot dogs and kielbasa, also makes its own sausage and cold cuts. The deli store in the manufacturing plant at 45 Grove St. in New Britain regularly generates long lines that have been featured in many TV news broadcasts about kielbasa and Easter weekend sales. USA Today recently noted that Martin Rosol's supplies premiere hot dog eateries including Blackie's in Waterbury.

Closer to home, three blocks away at 510 Main St. in New Britain, is the renowned Capitol Lunch. Martin Rosol's and Captiol Lunch go back, together, to the beginning of both operations.

Capitol Lunch co-owner Gus Ververis said of the family traditions, “As it got passed along there it got passed along here as well.”

Ververis said customers have a loaded answer when he asks what they like best about the Capitol Lunch chili dogs: “It's the meat sauce, it's the hot dog, it's both. It has to be.”

“We get the dogs fresh every day,” Ververis continued.” It's a great pairing: good meat, beef and pork, fresh, natural casing and our own sauce.”

Family roots

News clippings and photos stand out along the hallways at Martin Rosol's. One photo from the 1990s shows Robert Rosol, his father, Marine Corps veteran Eugene Rosol, and 10 employees standing beside a giant kielbasa.

Martin Rosol, a Polish immigrant, started the company in 1928. His portrait also is displayed prominently in the building.

These are among the guideposts for the operation, every day.

“Grandpa Eugene was a strict Marine,” Ted Rosol said. “We'd be in the cooler. He'd check up on us. He just wanted to make sure we were all busy. He taught us how to work hard. He instilled the work ethic in our family.”

The brothers still have oversight from the older generation: their mother, Sarah, serves as company president.

The three Rosols are among 22 employees at the family business. Another, Janine Dehm, is among the unofficial and enthusiastic greeters at Martin Rosol's, serving as the retail store manager.

Dehm revamped the retail display case with new signs in green, yellow, blue, red and white for Martin Rosol's and other products.

“I make sure everything's fresh and keep it clean,” she said. “The bosses let me do my job — they respect my judgment.”

Dehm said another revamp, with new designs and signs, is in the works.

Sometimes the marketing dovetails seamlessly with the charities supported by Martin Rosol's. The Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open, a golf tournament, benefits a local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans. The tournament, now in its 10th year, is held at Tunxis Country Club in Farmington and features hundreds of grilled kielbasa sandwiches, donated to the tourney by Martin Rosol's.

“These days such businesses are few and far between,” said the founder of the Golden Kielbasa tourney, Dennis Buden. “They enthusiastically support our mission.”

Dog Town of Milford is a relative newcomer to the Martin Rosol's enterprise. Dog Town owner Bobby Manere has run his truck for about a year, and it's now parked at his 800-square-foot hot dog stand in town.

“I like that they use natural smoke instead of liquid smoke like the national brands,” Manere said. “Martin Rosol's makes every single dog. It's not like a giant factory. You know them all on a first-name basis.”

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