CAVE JUNCTION — Only weeks after one of the community's largest employers announced it is shutting down, another business plans to hire about 30 workers over the course of several months.
Taylor's Sausage has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will allow the business to operate a second shift and expand its workforce.
"This is good news, and Cave Junction needs some right now," said Josephine County Commission Chairman Simon Hare.
Taylor's Sausage owner Terry Taylor said the family-owned business employs about 100 people. Because of increased demand for its products, the company asked the USDA for a second meat inspector.
The request was denied.
Taylor said the company's sole inspector was working 28 hours of overtime each week, at great expense. The USDA said it wouldn't revisit the issue until July 1.
"We jumped through all the hoops," he said.
Taylor contacted Democrat U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio's office and got results. On Wednesday, the USDA granted the request.
Taylor said he is relieved at the decision and believes the timing will be beneficial to the community. In April, Rough and Ready Lumber announced it was closing and would lay off 85 workers. Taylor already has hired five of those displaced workers and plans to hire more soon.
"We're hoping to hire 10 or more over the summer," he said.
Taylor said family has always been the cornerstone of the sausage business, and people in Cave Junction are part of that family.
In 1924, Charles Taylor immigrated to Canada with recipes from his native Europe and started a business that became his family's livelihood for generations. He later settled in Santa Monica, Calif.
In 1932, he was one of the founders of the Farmer's Market in Hollywood, where he served sausage to Hollywood stars and fans for nearly two decades.
Taylor taught his son, also named Charles, the ropes — the links? — of sausage making. After World War II, the Taylors moved to San Francisco and opened a store in the Crystal Palace Market. Other sausage kitchens were added in Oakland and Hayward, Calif.
After serving in the Korean War, the younger Charles Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in dairy science from California Polytechnic at San Luis Obispo. In 1970, he moved his family to the Illinois Valley, where he bought a small custom butchering and meat-locker plant.
In late 2001, the company opened Taylor's Country Store at 202 S. Redwood Highway. Today, the store offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. It also provides a venue for local entertainers to perform.
Taylor's produces more than 80 varieties of products, including snack sticks, smoked sausage and chubs, ground sausage, cooked and fresh sausages, wieners and franks, smoked sliced hams, bacon, turkeys and chickens. The business also custom processes game and farm-grown meats into sausage. Its mail-order division ships products nationwide.