Ray’s Sausage on national TV
James W. Wade III | 12/5/2013, 9 a.m.
Known for their souse meat made fresh daily at their headquarters in Cleveland, Ray’s Sausage recently received national attention as they were featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman on the Travel Channel.
Ray’s Sausage has 11 employees. They have been in business for almost 62 years with three generations operating the business.
“We make so many pounds of sausage and our specialty, souse meat, every week,” said Leslie Cash Lester from the third generation.
The business was a vision from the late Raymond C. Cash who served as a cook while in the U.S. Army. Upon his arrival home, he worked as a butcher at Savmore grocery store on Quincy Ave.
His experience, along with encouragement he received from his wife Thelma and customers, served as the incentive Ray Sr. needed to establish Ray’s Sausage, in 1952, a Black-owned company currently located at 3146 E. 123rd. Partnerships were formed with the late James Flagg, James Wilson and brother in law, Luke Easter, Cleveland Indians baseball player. The partners were bought out in 1964.
“It’s good to hear something positive about our company. We have been through some rough times over the years experiencing the problems with our next door neighbor,” said Lester.
The company spent upwards $80,000 when wrongfully accused of emitting a foul odor in the air. Although the city of Cleveland eventually learned that the smell stemmed from convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell’s home and offered to assist the sausage maker, they have received nothing as of yet.
Ray’s Sausage is Ohio State Inspected and HACCP certified. They manufacture fresh pork and beef sausage, souse, and headcheese. Some of their distributors are Sherwood of Cleveland and Hillandale, who deliver all products to Dave’s, Giant Eagle, Apples, Heinens, Zagaras, Miles Farmers Market, Mar, Convenient Stores and other Ohio supermarkets. Additionally, they also service the mom and pop stores throughout the greater Cleveland area.
Ray’s Sausage Company believe that quality food products are a direct result of qualified individuals working together for the common goal of producing a product that will distinguish them from other products.
Many of the company’s employees are from the Buckeye area neighborhood, where the business is located. Ray Harvin is responsible for sales and marketing.
Second generation family members Renee M. Cash and Raymond C. Cash, Jr. and third generation family members Leslie and Lisa Cash Lester are current owners and operators. Together, this synergy provides the best service and quality products possible.
“I know we put out a great product, we have been for years,” said Renee, who serves as president. The family said many who have lived in Cleveland but now live somewhere outside will come home and ask for their meat. They email or call for them to ship it.
The vision of Ray’s Sausage is to construct a new facility and become Federal USDA certified so that they may distribute their product (s) outside of the state of Ohio. However, they cannot achieve this objective unless you, SHOP WHERE IT PAYS AND BRING HOME THE RAY’S