Derek Gaspard, owner of Insane Sausages, says ‘it was challenge to see how crazy I could get’

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Derek Gaspard, owner of Insane Sausages, is opening a second location in Sulphur. For the uninitiated who have heard the name of Gaspard’s place and thought, “just another guy who thinks he makes good sausage,” think again. Yes, Gaspard offers sausage, et al. What makes his sausage different is the vast selection and the absolutely unique combinations and flavor profiles.

For crawfish boil lovers who’d rather dispense with the labor and enjoy the bounty of soon-to-be-here mudbug season in a single bite, try Insane Sausages Crawfish Boil, which is pork, crawfish tails, corn and potatoes in a casing and seasoned to perfection. Add Parmesan Garlic Style Sausage to any pasta and not much more is needed. Southern Country Breakfast will get a body going with its potato, breakfast sausage, eggs, cheese and white gravy mix. Winner, winner chicken dinner is the sausage with the most fun name. The Steen’s Syrup Sausage is the most popular seller.

The Sulphur Boudin Wars winner is often booed by traditionalists.

“They tell me I shouldn’t call my Mexican pork, rice, enchilada sauce, corn tortillas and cheese boudin, boudin.”

Gaspard’s business origin story begins much like the stories of sausage makers who have come before him. Growing up in Vinton, his dad and a neighbor hosted well-attended deer sausage- and boudin-making events once a year.

“That’s not uncommon around here you know,” Gaspard said. “Families and friends get together and put up as much as 500 pounds of sausage, but at the time I never dreamed it would evolve into a profession.”

The Vinton native had a good-paying job at a Texas refinery when his wife, Daicha, bought him a sausage stuffer for Christmas. (She heads up operations and doesn’t like the limelight.)

Unlike many sausage makers, Gaspard is a creative foodie. He started making sausage and bringing it to work for co-workers to sample, gradually experimenting with what he put in it and getting more “out of the box” each time.

“It was a challenge to see how crazy I could get,” he said.

Co-workers kept eating it up and begging for more. The McNeese Business School graduate thought maybe he was onto something, but then again, who turns down free sausage. On a day when eight of these encouraging coworkers were chatting about the potential of a sausage and boudin making business venture, Gaspard responded.

“To get them off my back, I told them that if I researched the name Insane Sausages – because that’s how they would describe my combinations – and it was not taken as an LLC and web address, I would buy the license.”

It wasn’t, and he did. The year was 2015.

He kept working at the refinery, and eventually Gaspard and his father found a building in Vinton. It needed a lot of work. He and his dad did the work and it took some time.

In 2019, Gaspard opened Insane Sausages in Vinton. It’s out of the way, but customers have found him, and a large portion of those customers are from Texas. Insane Sausages, Vinton, is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for traditional/special boudin, traditional/special sausage and menu items including the popular Cajun Fries, Gaspard’s take on a Cajun Poutine. It is a bed of French fries with boudin crumbles, cheese, Insanity Sauce,(a remoulade-type sauce), ranch dressing and green onions. Other menu items – and the menu will change from day to day – will be po boys, sandwiches, pistolettes, roll-ups (something fried in an egg roll wrapper), seafood, burgers and boudin balls.

The Sulphur Insane Sausages location is 303 S. Cities Service Hwy. (where Cast and Cleaver was located). Up to 40 refrigerated and menu items will be available, and customers can expect something different every day. Gaspard said he is tentatively planning to open seven days a week at the Sulphur location in a couple of weeks.

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