Sahlen Family takes over a place that already felt like home


For the past 10 years, people have known the Buffalo Bisons home as “Coca-Cola Field”.

But that has now changed.

A local family, with strong ties to Buffalo, has taken over the naming rights just in time to celebrate a major milestone.

News 4 took a tour of the Sahlen’s factory.

They jumped at the opportunity to put their name on something that already felt so much like home.

Take a visit to any ballpark and chances are you would probably purchase a cold beverage and a hotdog.

Here in Buffalo, it’s a Sahlen’s dog, and that’s one of the reasons the Sahlen family took the opportunity to mark their spot at the ballpark.

“We jumped over that right away because we knew we would be the perfect match,” saod Joseph Salen, a co-owner.

Coca-Cola announced it wouldn’t renew its naming rights for the stadium last year.

So for the next 10 years, this place will be known as Sahlen Field.

Besides the change, 2019 is a big year for the Sahlen family.

“It only made sense with the tie in with hotdogs and baseball that this would be an ideal venue for us to publicize our 150th anniversary and support the team,” said the elder Joe Sahlen, who’s also a co-owner.

The family owned business begain in 1869 and spans multiple generations.

Joseph began working at the company, which was started by his great-great grandfather, at a young age.

He mowed the lawn.

“It’s really a unique position to be in the 5th generation of a family business. It’s tough for me to think of it outside of that because my whole life has been here,” said Joseph.

“Most businesses don’t make it to that time and it’s really unusual for a family business and we are 100% family owned. My sons and daughters represent the 5th generation and we’re looking forward to the 6th being involved in the not too distant future,” said Joe Sahlen.

Over the years, the amoung of products Sahlen’s has been able to produce has significantly increased.

Production used to be focused in May and June.

“Now we’ve been able to spread that focus from November all the way through the winter to the holidays, Memorial Day and 4th of July — and that has expanded our capacity tremendously,” said Joseph Sahlen.

Sahlen’s makes 35,000 pounds of hot dogs every day and ships them to 35 states.

They’re a household staple.

“I’m very very proud of the fact and I think all of my ancestors would be as well,” said Joe Sahlen.

Despite a successful 150 years, the pressure to turn a delicious product remains high.

“There is that tie-in that your name is on that and along with that is your reputation so if something goes haywire or someone isn’t happy about the product, it reflects on the shalen name -BUTT TO- and all the legacy that we’ve built up for 150 years,” said Joe Sahlen.

First pitch at Sahlen Field happens at 2:05 Thursday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss