Ptacek’s IGA broke the world’s record for the longest bratwurst featured at a celebration that marked the family-owned store’s 100th anniversary.
The bratwurst, made in the store’s meat processing department, measured 52 feet and two inches. Why not 100 feet to commemorate the Ptacek family’s 100th year in business? The bun was the problem. The sausage’s length had to match the length of the longest bun the company could get.
“The bun had to fit in a semi. Laid corner to corner, 52 feet and two inches was the longest bun that would fit,” said Patrick Ptacek, co-owner — with his father and his siblings — of the 20,000-square-foot store.
“The biggest challenge of this whole thing was getting someone to bake the bun. We got Village Hearth/Pan-O-Gold Bakery in St. Cloud — about an hour away from here — to do it,” Ptacek told SN.
When the family began to think of how to celebrate 100 years in business, they knew they wanted it have a meat theme.
“This business started out 100 years ago as a meat market. So a meat theme seemed appropriate," Ptacek said.
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“I got the idea for breaking a record when I was watching 'Duck Dynasty' on TV. They were talking about breaking records and that’s how I got the idea for making a record-breaking bratwurst.”
Bratwurst is one of the company’s signature products along with a big menu of other store-made sausages and smoked meats.
Several weeks before the parking lot celebration took place, customers were informed with bag-stuffers, road signs and some local radio spot announcements.
It was necessary to build a grill more than 52 feet long. Store associates, supplier reps and other volunteers lined up two rows of cement blocks and laid grills across the two rows.
“It was an amazing success. We had things for kids like blow-up jump houses, and a local band, and even though that was one of our first really cold days, about 38 degrees, more than 1,000 people showed up,” Ptacek said.
Associates and volunteers helped cut 6-inch sections of the bratwurst and bun and sold sandwiches for $3. Large cups of beer, donated by a local beer company, went for $2. All the proceeds, $1,200, were given to a local charity, Have A Heart, that provides care for developmentally challenged individuals.
The long bratwurst was certified the world’s longest by the World Record Academy. It broke the academy’s former record for the longest bratwurst, which was 47 feet long.