ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – Pope John Paul II's canonization is bringing up memories from his 1999 visit to St. Louis. That's especially true for those who had personal contact with the soon-to-be Saint.
One of those people is Ted Piekutowski, whose family owns the Piekutowski Sausage Shop in north St. Louis.
"I call my sausage fit for a king. Now, I'm going to tell them it's heavenly!" Ted said.
That's because he'll be able to say what most people can't... that he's fed a Saint.
"It was a privilege to do it, it was an honor," Ted said.
Ted's father started their shop in 1940. Since then, the basic family recipe has stayed the same. But Ted says it's not really a 'secret.'
"People say it is, but I don't think it's a big secret. It's just the time and the patience it takes to make it, it makes it good," he said.
It's so good, the family's kept the doors open for decades with little to no advertising.
"It's all by word of mouth," Ted said.
And back in the 90's, came the family's most glowing review: from Pope John Paul II. It's why Newschannel 5 first visited Piekutwosk Sausage… and we weren't the only ones. The shop got a great deal of attention when the Pope was eager to try it's sausage again, after Ted's father sent him some during his 1969 stop in St. Louis when he was a Cardinal.
"He said it was almost better than what he had in Poland when he was over there!" Ted said.
That is quite the compliment, coming from a Polish Pope. And as that Pope becomes a Saint, Ted will be remembering the day St. Louis' most important guest recognized the hard work of his family's little shop.
"That was a day for us to all really be happy… made everybody happy," Ted said.