The National Provisioner’s Independent Processor of the Year is The Alpine Wurst & Meat House, located in Honesdale, Pa. Owners Mark and Gretchen Eifert run Alpine Wurst, a business that has been operating since 1977. Gretchen said that Mark’s parents, Klaus and Ingrid Eifert, came to the United States from Germany back in the 1960s, establishing their business in 1977. After coming over from Germany, the couple desired to continue their German food traditions, and they began with a deli and butcher shop, then opening their restaurant.

Though the restaurant has been closed since the pandemic, Gretchen said that Alpine Wurst hopes to reopen their restaurant this fall.

“We are in the middle of remodeling our building to be able to increase our production. We just started doing business with a really large company,” she said. “They distribute all over the U.S., so in order to keep up with their demands and our own, we had to remodel and we’re getting a new machine too.”

One of their suppliers is Mosner Family Brands, The National Provisioner’s Processor of the Year, she said.

Gretchen said that Alpine Wurst’s most popular products include their Bratwursts, Krainerwurst, smoked pork chops, and variety pack, which includes four sausage types, allowing consumers to try a variety of sausages.

“We have one of the largest varieties of European German sausages that we still make,” she said. “A lot of them are going on the wayside, and you can’t find them like you used to be able to.”

This family-owned business operates in around 400 stores spanning New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Gretchen said.

Alpine Wurst operates three smokehouses onsite in Pennsylvania, but that number will be increasing soon.

“We will actually have four due to the large variety of products we make,” Gretchen said.
 We make over 100 different varieties of products, and they all have different cooking procedures.” She said they will be trying to do sous vide products in the two newer smokehouses.

Alpine Wurst Haus has won various awards, but Gretchen cited the AAMP gold medals for their bratwurst and liverwurst as the most significant ones they have received.

Hiperbaric 135 High Pressure Processing (HPP) Unit. Source: Hiperbaric

“The judges came over from Germany and judged our products and so I feel like that is a huge honor,” she said. “And my husband and his father went over to Frankfurt to receive their medals so that just made us feel like we really have a nice authentic German sausage in the United States.”

Gretchen said that Alpine Wurst’s products remind some customers of food from earlier in their lives.

“For some people they come into the deli and it reminds them of their German grandparents that used to serve it to them when they were kids and so it’s really euphoric,” she said.

Alpine Wurst not only keeps with their family’s German traditions, but they recently launched an innovative new product, too.

“Actually, this past year my husband invented and patented something called Steacon … so that’s a new product, and that’s been taking off,” Gretchen said. She said that this product launched this year in March.

Assorted deli cold cuts. Source:

Looking to the future, Gretchen said that Alpine Wurst is expanding their facility. In a Q&A interview with Hiperbaric, Mark Eifert described more of Alpine Wurst’s recent investments, which include a new packaging line and expanded refrigeration storage.

Mark also said that Alpine Wurst has invested in an HPP machine, bringing their food safety operations to their own facility. HPP — a form of food preservation that increases food safety — allows Alpine Wurst to save on transportation costs, expand distribution and extend product shelf life for up to four months. Gretchen emphasized the fact that HPP allows Alpine Wurst to have a clean label, only including meat and spices in their end products.

In a time of increasing consumer awareness and concern regarding labeling and food safety, Alpine Wurst is catering to this consumer demand through their HPP processing.

Though the business has been using HPP since 2015 through a third-party provider, Gretchen said their business has purchased their own HPP machine and will be providing tolling services to food manufacturers. In addition to their new role as an HPP toller, Mark said that Alpine Wurst is also becoming a co-packer for a large account.

Learn more about The Alpine Wurst & Meat House — a Pennsylvania-based business — and their products here.