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HomeVideoThe Iconic Brand Behind New York-Style Hot Dogs - Chowhound

The Iconic Brand Behind New York-Style Hot Dogs – Chowhound


Sabrett’s history is a tale of two companies. The first was founded in 1926 by Samuel Ogus and Fritz Frankel, European immigrants who arrived in the United States via Ellis Island. They originally named it the Sabre Meat Company, but they soon discovered that another company already owned the Sabre name. Since it was a very small company at the time, it was rebranded as Sabre-ette, implying a small sabre, which was later shortened to Sabrett. In addition to making hot dogs, the company sold hamburgers and homemade buns. The business grew steadily, taking a major leap when Nathan’s contracted them as a supplier, but it truly reached iconic status when its hot dog carts hit the streets.

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The second tale begins with Gregory Papalexis. Raised in Manhattan, hot dogs were a steady presence since childhood; his father owned a bakery and their neighbor was a hot dog factory. After graduating college in 1948, he took his first step into the food business by purchasing his father’s bakery with a $2,500 G.I. loan. Hot dog buns were a specialty, with Papalexis supplying numerous New York eateries, but he ultimately recognized that there was more success to be found if he made the sausages as well. His business, House O’ Weenies, was a massive success, and in 1964, he established Marathon Enterprises and purchased competitor: Sabrett. House O’ Weenies actually outsold Sabrett, but they chose the Sabrett name because the blue and yellow umbrellas had become so iconic.

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