West Texas gems attract worldwide visitors to Slaton - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

West Texas gems attract worldwide visitors to Slaton

(Source: KCBD) (Source: KCBD)

Hop on Highway 84 and eventually, you'll hit the little City of Slaton. And in that little city, you'll find two very big names. Klemke's and Slaton Bakery, share more than just this corner, but nationwide recognition as West Texas Gems.

"Only one reason, flavor and service," said Rod Klemke, owner of Klemke's Sausage Haus. 

As one of the oldest bakeries in the state, the first Slaton Bakery opened its doors more than 90 years ago as a retail and bread factory, before settling in their current location in 1983.

"Whenever Robin and I took over, between customers we'd play cards, it was just the two of us, and now there are more than 20 employees, and we've got products throughout the state," said Sherrell Wilson, President of Slaton Bakery.

Now, visitors from nearly every state and dozens of countries stop by to try their signature thumbprints and loads of sweets.

"It's just really flattering to see that type of response from this little bakery, that you know, is just a destination. It's a destination stop," said Wilson. 

Down the street, Klemke's first started in the late 80s as a slaughter house, but, after advice from a friend, they began to expand.

"He said, "Rod if you're going to stay in Slaton you need to know how to make sausage. He more or less gave me his recipe for German sausage. So I started making it," said Klemke. 

Now, they run a barbeque joint, make 100,000 pounds of sausage and more than 40,000 pounds of jerky a year, and they're still growing.

"We keep pluggin' away each year and try to make new things," said Klemke. 

And though their traditions remain, there's always room for more.

"We've got that experimental blood in us," said Wilson. 

So, next time you drive through this little town, be sure to stop for a bite. 

"If you have not eaten our sausage, I don't know how you haven't," said Klemke. 

"We want to see this community keep thriving, and we do what we can to help that," said Wilson. 

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