Though there are many individuals in the world — and especially South Georgia — who proudly claim that they make their own sausage, for most the activity is a hobby or a diversion when time permits. For others, such as the owners of Stripling's General Store, it's a profession and even a calling. That's likely why Stripling's, a Cordele area based family enterprise, is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. That milestone is of interest for many reasons, not least of which is that Stripling's churns out more than 300,000 pounds of sausage per year! Sausage was its original product and continues to be a signature item. It is the cornerstone of what is a flourishing business that now encompasses two retail operations in the Cordele area and, more recently, a USDA-inspected production facility in Moultrie. The success of Stripling's business can be attributed to many key factors: A recipe that has not changed since 1964; a committed, entrepreneurial-minded family who all are willing to roll up their sleeves and jump into whatever tasks need tackling; and, of course, a supportive customer base whose addresses span from nearby South Georgia to mail-order fans scattered throughout the country, and even to American troops stationed Iraq and Afghanistan. Picture courtesy Sunny Lee.