Need some proper canny sausages for the BBQ this Summer? Try Geordie Bangers
Superb sausages where traditional flavour combos have been swapped out for gin, Jack Daniels and Brown Ale? Sounds like our kinda vibe
By Becky Hardy
We’ve got our fair share of family businesses here in the North East. But it’s rare that we find a local brand whose work goes back three generations… That is, until we discovered Geordie Bangers.
We first found out about these superb sausage makers back in 2013, when owner David MacDonald started trying his hand at selling his quirky creations at Newcastle’s Quayside Market. He sold all his packs before 12pm that day, had 15 Facebook reviews by 5pm that night and was back at the market the week after. Word spread – fast.
Why all the hype? Well, a knowledge of the craft and knowing how to ensure his sausages are top-quality help. But then, that’s what happens when you follow your Dad and your Grandad into the family butchery tradition. Some of David’s earliest memories are of helping out in his Dad’s shop, stuffing sausages and chatting with his Grandad about their favourite flavours. You might say he was always born to build bangers.
But what makes his bangers so characteristically…well, Geordie? Wacky flavours, that’s what. Sure, you’ve still got all your classics, like pork, Cumberland and even sausage rolls now. But with Geordie Bangers you’ve also got Black & White bangers, gin sausages and (but of course) Brown Ale bangers.
Within a year, David was successful enough to move into a facility on North Shields Fish Quay and start producing his culinary creations on the banks of the River Tyne, just like his father and grandfather did all those years before him.
Now, a cool seven years and one global pandemic later, Geordie Bangers is still only going from strength to strength. Having bolstered their online delivery service during lockdown, while venturing more and more into beer garden and outdoor event set ups, and now chomping at the bit to get back to all the local markets David’s a familiar face at, it seems the world is their oyster.
We caught up with David to find out how life post-pandemic is treating the business, where he finds his flavour inspo and just what the future may hold for Geordie Bangers…
What makes Geordie Bangers different from other sausages?
Geordie Bangers are a premium product and it’s what we specialise in. We use recipes that go back three generations – our family have been making sausages since 1974.
What are your earliest memories of the trade?
I worked in my father’s butchers at a young age, helping out on a Saturday and making sausages. I always remember thinking, ‘I’ll never be a butcher’, but here I am!
What made you decide to follow their footsteps into the industry?
My wife and I were expecting a baby and money was tight at the time. My Dad suggested selling sausages on the Quayside on a Sunday. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I said: ok, let’s try. I did some research back through my Dad’s and Granda’s recipes and decided on six flavours, then added a uniquely Geordie twist to each of them.
The following week, we went into our friends’ butcher shop (once he was closed) and knocked up a load of packs. We went to the market and they sold out. The week after that, we made more and sold out again. I was working in a gym at the time but I soon quit my job and went for it with Geordie Bangers full-time. The brand just snowballed from there and we gained regular customers all over the North East and North Yorkshire.
Geordie Bangers specialise in sausages with a difference. Where do you find your flavour inspiration?
Sausages can come in so many flavours now, it’s really fun to trial new ones all the time! The old school flavours will always be popular, like your Cumberlands, etc. But we’ve added in flavours with a twist, like the Brown Ale Banger and the Old Man Mac’s Hot and Spicy, which was my Granda’s recipe.
I try to keep with the trends of what’s popular too. We’ve done a chilli range before, as well as a boozy banger range which was really popular – that included gin sausages, Jack Daniels sausages, etc. Our latest one was the Father’s Day Bangers Around the World.
You’re based at North Shields’ Fish Quay – why is this the perfect base spot for Geordie Bangers?
The Fish Quay is absolutely thriving at the moment. There are more and more things happening down here and it’s a hot spot for bars and restaurants in particular. We supply most of the Fish Quay, Tynemouth and Cullercoats now with our bangers, as we’re right on their doorstep as a local producer, so it works really well for both sides.
You’re also back on the local market scene. Why are markets so important for Geordie Bangers?
The Quayside market is our bread and butter. It was where we began and where we are most established. Over the last six years, we’ve never missed a market until COVID hit. Jesmond Food Market is also a brilliant one for us, as so many foodies, bloggers and locals support the market.
We can even get Geordie Bangers delivered straight to our doors now! Was this a development that came out of lockdown?
We’ve always had the online element, but never really pushed it. Lockdown made us focus on that more and we went national with our deliveries. It went crazy! Things have died down now with everything opening back up, but the sales are still there and online is still a major part of the business.
What’s your personal favourite Geordie Banger creation (so far)?
My go-to is the Black and White banger (black pudding and white pepper), but my favourite of all time is probably the Guinness banger.
And what are your hopes for the future of Geordie Bangers?
To keep growing the brand and open more food-to-eat outlets across the city and Northumberland. We want to be the very best – and the first company people think of when they want to buy some sausages.
All that talk has got us hungry! Fancy ordering some Geordie Bangers too? Or are you keen to chat to David and the gang at the next local market? Whatever info you need, you’ll be able to find it on the Geordie Bangers website, Facebook page or Instagram
Or pop into their North Shields shop and say hello: Geordie Bangers, Unit 3, Pow Dene Court, Tanners Bank, North Shields NE30 1JG