Dan the Sausageman
Written by Andrea H. Reay, President/CEO of the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
Innovation and entrepreneurship are alive and well in the Soundside Region. It’s no secret that our region is home to some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world. But, did you know that the same spirit is perhaps even more active in our small business community? In fact, Danny House, known locally as “Dan the Sausageman” after his business of the same name, even won the 2018 SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award. Dan has taken an idea and a passion and cultivated it into an enterprise that provides over 40 local jobs in his home community of Burien.
“I never began thinking I would be ‘Dan the Sausageman,’” said Danny House. “When I first got started, it was out of necessity, but I soon fell in love with the idea of growing a business.” In the beginning, Dan, like many entrepreneurs, had to stand up for his idea. “People would say to me, ‘You can’t sell sausage your whole life.’” The numbers were also against him; statistically, over half of new businesses will close before their fifth anniversary. “Luckily, I am motivated by people telling me I can’t do something,” Dan assured me, “I have always enjoyed a challenge, so I continued and kept growing.”
Dan took that same passion, dedication, and enthusiasm he had in food production and expanded into the restaurant business. In 2004, Dan purchased the old Hi-Line Tin Shop and transformed it into the Tin Room Bar. In 2019, he went on to open the Burien Pizzeria just down the street. “I kinda feel like I started other businesses just in case one fails,” said Danny. “I have been fortunate that we are doing good and live in a great neighborhood that invests in the local businesses and wants success for us.” This entrepreneurial passion has evolved from a dream into three businesses and over 30 years of experience, which have transformed the lives of over 40 employees and countless customers.
Danny conducting an interview with KING 5 News in the Burien Pizzeria
When asked about why he invested locally, Danny mentioned how investing in Burien—his home—was the only option in the beginning, but things changed over the years. “There was a time when operating and opening in Burien became very difficult,” said Dan, “But I stayed basically because of the people that live here. I know they will fight for me. The majority will tell me when I am failing—not on some website that protects their identity, but they will come up to me on the street and tell me about their experience. They will tell me so I can improve and stay in business. This is why I stayed and hopefully keep growing.”
Dan also praised the over 1,500 small businesses located in Burien, saying that “They are truly the reason for our growing city.” He also urges business owners and community members alike to hold policymakers accountable to the viability of all local businesses, stressing fewer restrictions, smarter codes, and more security to help the small business community thrive. “If there is no business in our city, it will fail,” said Danny, “Write letters, see your council member, increase your expectation of them and what they can do to help us grow and be successful… It will give you a better city.”
The Soundside region boasts some of the Pacific Northwest’s most business-friendly cities, Burien and beyond. It is the place where communities, cities, and nonprofits like the Seattle Southside Chamber work together to maintain and improve the business environment so that we can be better and stronger together.
For more information about Dan the Sausageman, go to www.danthesausageman.com
For more about the Washington SBDC, go to www.sbdc.org
This article was written by Andrea H. Reay, the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila since 1988. For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of member benefits and resources, please visit their website at www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com