Chrissy Flanagan is a high-profile member of the “Maker Generation” – a growing body of highly motivated inner-city 30-somethings who’ve quit well-paid jobs to become artisan producers and craftspeople.
As a communications adviser and manager in the NSW Government, Chrissy worked extensively in such male-dominated sectors as transport and infrastructure. Taking a break from the world of politics, she took to Europe as a “drifter”, sparking a passion for handmade produce. On her return, she started a communications agency, filling her freelance down time by learning to make jams, pickles, cheese, cured hams and bacon.
Surprisingly, the former vegetarian found her niche in hand-making sausages. To allay any lingering squeamishness, she set out working with only prime cuts of locally sourced, ethically raised, certified free-range meat, refusing to use common fillers like skin, offal and gristle.
Launching in November 2015, Chrissy’s Cuts sausages quickly gained cult status via appearances at food festivals and markets, and were soon snapped up by restaurants, gastro pubs and independent supermarkets. Chrissy and her partner, Jim Flanagan, have developed signature sausages for Anason and 1812 and the Chur Burger chain. Chrissy also became a brand ambassador for Everdure by Heston barbecues, a retro-styled product in keeping with her distinctive style.
Chrissy has occasionally encountered misogyny, frequently asked if she’s “helping her husband or father” in her sausage shop. To make a statement, she entered the Australian Meat Industry Council’s annual Sausage King competition – the first female entrant in its history – and placed equal second in the Sydney round with her beef brisket pastourma with smoked paprika and garlic. The industry recognition cemented Chrissy’s already flourishing media image as the “Sausage Queen.”
In June 2017, Chrissy and Jim made their debut as restaurateurs, opening The Sausage Factory in Sydney’s Dulwich Hill – a bistro, bar and Australia’s only sausage “cellar door”, offering a full menu of sausages made on the premises. They have been hosting enthusiastic crowds since opening night.