Dick’s Brewing Company is recognized internationally, but it got its start in the lessons of working hard on a 700-acre dairy farm in Adna, delivering The Chronicle almost six decades ago, a traveling butcher business and then the development of Dick’s Northwest Sausage and Deli.
At the center of it all was Dick Young. Today his daughter — Julie Pendleton — runs the operations, which greatly expanded when the business turned to brewing. She took over the business when Dick unexpectedly died nine years ago to this date (Oct. 25).
The business community via the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce and its Business After House series came together last week to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Northwest Sausage & Deli in Centralia, located on Highway 99 near the Thurston-Lewis county line.
Dick’s mother June Young was in attendance at the celebration.
“He was always building something,” she said. “He had a go-cart collection. He loved to ride horses, had the paper route.”
He worked on the family dairy. June said her granddaughter Julie inherited much from Dick.
“He was always cheerful, always full of ambition, always busy doing something, and always a talker,” June said. “He got up early to do chores. If he started something he persevered until he finished. … Julie, she’s following in her dad’s footsteps. She’s worked hard to keep it going. She is like her father. If there’s a problem, she’s always cheerful about it.”
Lori Severns was Dick’s fiance for 10 years. “He would be so proud of Julie,” she said during the Business After Hours gathering.
Julie’s mother Marilyn Gallagher was Dick’s wife for 18 years. She was also at the 35th anniversary last week.
“Julie’s doing an amazing job, she’s a lot like her father — smart, ambitious, goal-oriented — she’s on the ball and got a lot going for her,” Gallagher said. Tears welled up as she thought of Dick and what he would be thinking of the day. “I would say he’s smiling — the old expression — busting the buttons off his shirt. He would be so proud.”
Julie took a few minutes to ponder the business and her father. She became manager of the restaurant in 2005. She believes the success she finds today is rooted in her father, and the lessons learned under his direction.
“He taught me hard work, perseverance, to keep going and not quit, not stop,” she said.
She enjoyed the anniversary celebration.
“It was cool. We tend to celebrate a lot for the brewery, it was cool to put the focus on the deli,” she said. “The brewery wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the restaurant.”
History of Dick’s Northwest Sausage & Deli
In honor of the 35th anniversary, The Weekender is publishing the history of the business and its sister operation Dick’s Brewing Company. The restaurant is celebrating with specials throughout the month, including different meat items such as pepperoni with the first pound at regular prices, and the second pound at prices from 35 years ago in 1983. Learn more at dicksbeer.com.
Northwest Sausage & Deli was established in 1983 by Dick. His vision was to create a place where everyone can enjoy Old World style smoked sausage. Today, using electric air smokehouses, the business produces the finest sausage and deli products around — each are prepared to Dick’s original recipe.
A lifelong meat cutter, Dick started his career at Midway Meats in Chehalis while still in high school. After graduating high school, he started his own custom slaughtering and meat wrapping business, Dick’s Meat, across from Maple Lane School in Rochester. After eight years in the business, Dick decided he wanted to focus his attention on the art of making and smoking sausages and various meats.
Dick opened the doors of Northwest Sausage & Deli on Oct. 28, 1983, after building the business from the ground up. The business was a family project with Dick and Marilyn, their two children, Julie, 7, and Jonathan, 3, and Marilyn’s mom, Carol Ponder, working part time.
Shortly after the deli was up and running, Dick put in a few tables and chairs and started selling sandwiches on the premises. That is where it all began.
In 1984, Dick, a man who never could sit still, poured his passion and interest into home brewing. He built, from scratch, a 3 barrel brew house, to start designing and creating recipes in the back of the deli. His beer was so popular that he quickly found himself exceeding the annual production limit for home brewers. In 1992, Dick decided it was time to make his hobby a business. Dick’s Brewing Company became a reality in 1994.
Dick quickly realized he would need more space for his growing side project and built a brewery/warehouse adjacent to his deli. Dick would brew once a week and initially focused on Dick Danger, Pale Ale and Lava Rock Porter. Dick Danger is still the best selling beer to date. The brewery was located behind the deli from 1995 to 2008. Production and distribution grew from 200 bbls. in one state to over 3,000 bbls. a year in six states. Dick’s creative passion for brewing also grew, starting with three recipes in 1994 to over 20 styles in 2009.
In 2008, Dick’s Brewing Company moved into its current location on Galvin Road and production continued full steam ahead. Dick opened a tasting room at the production facility in 2009 and invited the public in for a tour and a pint.
Dick wore many hats and he was so many things to so many people. In 2009, the community lost a brewmaster, a friend, a dad, a partner, a son, a teacher, a rebel, an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a craftsman, and a joker — a complete and unique leader. He will always be remembered in every bottle or keg that gets shipped from our warehouse to someone that is thirsty, his vision and dream will live on.