Tampa's forthcoming Boozy Pig carries on a family tradition

They have the meats.

click to enlarge Marcello and Andrew Tambuzzo. - Jenna Rimensnyder
Jenna Rimensnyder
Marcello and Andrew Tambuzzo.

What started as a family tradition has blossomed into a local company — and a successful one at that.

Tambuzzo Sausage Company provides a number of eateries across the region, including Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill, Empamamas and La Segunda Bakery & Café, with its supply of house-made links. Now, founder Andrew Tambuzzo, whose friends have always called him “Boozy” or “Buzzo,” will open Tampa’s Boozy Pig, a whole animal butchery and kitchen at 3255 W. Cypress St.

The 3,300-square-foot newcomer is set to showcase customizable cuts alongside sandwiches, bacons and sausages on demand, before the end of 2018.

For the Tambuzzo family, the art of sausage making goes back three generations, beginning with Andrew’s grandfather, Joe, who owned the late Tip Top Grocery that was on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 18th Street in Ybor City.

“As a child, my grandpa would take me and my cousins into his backyard and teach us how to make sausage. Once he retired, and the store closed, we would do it for family functions and holidays,” Andrew said.

His father, Marcello, kept the importance of the practice alive between each generation, refurbishing their equipment and adding new pieces when necessary.

Over the years, Andrew’s passion for processing game meat grew deeper.

“I found a commercial kitchen and rented it to try out new flavors and recipes, and then passed them out to people who would be interested in purchasing them,” he said. “I knew I had something good.”

click to enlarge Inside the 3,300-square-foot Boozy Pig, which should debut in Tampa in the next few weeks. - Jenna Rimensnyder
Jenna Rimensnyder
Inside the 3,300-square-foot Boozy Pig, which should debut in Tampa in the next few weeks.

Hype for his products increased through Tambuzzo Sausage Company, and his grandfather’s former customers eventually became his own. With a strong consumer base, Andrew realized there was a gap in the market for craft butcheries: “People wanted to know where their meat was coming from, who was processing their meat.”

Good thing, too, because The Boozy Pig will offer full transparency, with no shortcuts on quality.

“Our mission is taking our family traditions and rolling into something modern [yet] new, using locally raised and sustainable meat,” Andrew said, adding that he’s sourced pigs from Brooksville's Nature Delivered Farm for the last four years.

On the retail end, the butchery will carry jellies, jams, bone broths and stocks from Andrew’s line, Tip Top Canning Company, as a nod to Joe.

The Boozy Pig — once its inspection and licensing process is complete, of course — should debut in the next few weeks. But at the moment, Andrew and his team are working out of a commercial kitchen in the area, as well as putting final touches on the butchery’s space after close to six months of renovations.

Ten seats are featured inside to start, and there are plans to accommodate more Boozy Pig customers in the near future.

“This type of labor never seemed like work, just seemed like what my family did,” Andrew said, “and I’m excited to share this piece of my family’s tradition with the community.”