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Three Grandmothers Cooking Italian in Tiny Houses on Wheels

One of our readers sent me this commercial/advertising stunt which features three Italian grandmothers who travel in tiny homes on trailers to cook for lucky people and families they meet on the road on what they call a Sausage Sunday. It’s called The Sausage Nonnas – the World’s Most Elite Sausage Delivery Service.

The grandmothers seem funny, they have a great sense of humor, and the tiny homes look pretty spacious, too. This video seems to be a marketing partnership featuring tiny houses on wheels with the Italian Sausage company, Johnsonville and the popular driver service, Uber. What do you think? Funny? Not funny? All I can say is, they seem like a lot of fun to hang out with and I wish I was lucky enough to get to eat their Italian dishes! How about you? Watch the video below and let us know your thoughts.

Three Grandmothers Cooking Italian in Tiny Houses on Wheels

Sausage Nonnas 01

Images © Johnsonville & Uber via YouTube

Sausage Nonnas 02 Sausage Nonnas 03 Sausage Nonnas 04 Sausage Nonnas 05 Sausage Nonnas 06 Sausage Nonnas 07 Sausage Nonnas 08

Images © Johnsonville & Uber via YouTube

VIDEO: The Sausage Nonnas

The Sausage Nonnas – Gina

The Sausage Nonnas – Lidia

The Sausage Nonnas – Antonia

Highlights from Filming the Sausage Nonnas

On November 8, the Sausage Nonnas went to Chicago. Johnsonville partnered with Uber to deliver real Italian grandmas (in tiny grandma homes) to cook for lucky families on Sausage Sunday.

DISCUSSION: I’m curious, do you find this commercial/television show to be funny, entertaining, or not? Aside from the marketing and humor, the tiny homes seem pretty nice, don’t they? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 47 comments… add one }
  • kristina nadreau
    November 20, 2015, 4:41 pm

    love all of it.

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:33 am

      Thanks Kristina!

  • Jen
    November 20, 2015, 5:01 pm

    Fantastic post!! Thank you.

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:33 am

      Thanks Jen!

  • Sharon Irven
    November 20, 2015, 5:13 pm

    Only in Chicago? pity. Looks yummy and like great fun. Do they really live in those houses?

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:34 am

      Hi Sharon, no I don’t think they actually live in the houses. Maybe they’ll do it again in another city soon, not sure. But I agree, looks yummy and fun 😀

  • Kim W
    November 20, 2015, 5:16 pm

    Fantastic! Not sure the nonnas should have been cooking in the moving Tiny Homes! The houses look great and the nonnas are fab!

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:34 am

      Cooking in a moving tiny house seems like a big no no, I’m pretty sure it was just acting though 😀

  • Louise
    November 20, 2015, 5:28 pm

    I love EVERYTHING, the tiny houses, the cooks and the concept. Very cheerful! Brings JOY.

  • Mary
    November 20, 2015, 6:03 pm

    That was hysterical! It reminded my of my grandmother! I absolutely love the tiny houses. Who made them? I would love to live in one of these made of logs. These Nanas are amazing! I don’t even eat sausage, but I would love to meet them and see the rest of their houses. I loved this!☺️

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:32 am

      Thanks Mary I’m happy you enjoyed it too. I’d love getting to hang out with them too and try their dishes as well 😀

  • Nancy
    November 20, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Cute marketing idea.
    Is it me or isn’t it pretty dangerous to be cooking while your tiny house is moving? I guess they thought it would be funny as things are falling down around them, not so funny to me.

    • nancy again
      November 20, 2015, 6:26 pm

      I forgot to add: I want one of those tiny houses and one of those cute Nonna’s

    • Nancy
      November 20, 2015, 6:31 pm

      Forgot to add, I’ll take one tiny house and one Nonna, I’ll skip the sausage LOL

    • Alex
      November 21, 2015, 12:27 am

      I thought the same thing. Definitely seems dangerous! I’m thinking (and hoping?) that most of that part was some kind of acting?

  • November 20, 2015, 6:53 pm

    Nice tiny homes. The out-takes are a riot! SO SO funny! These ladies need to head south for the winter and show warm weather folks some good Italian food.

  • Hudson
    November 20, 2015, 7:07 pm

    These are funny commercials! I certainly enjoyed them.

  • Cris Y~D
    November 20, 2015, 7:51 pm

    This was a time warp! The Nonnas are just like I remember from childhood. And the food! Mama mia! Thanks for a comical memorable trip in the Tiny Houses. Ubers are ok, but the drivers take great risks by Driving .

  • Debbie
    November 20, 2015, 8:17 pm

    I think it was great! Although I agree, fall risk cooking while driving. Great advertising. Also giving to others and what fun for the Nonas.!!! I loved it. I’m an Uber driver. !! All around great. Just keep the Nonas safe……

  • Great Grandma Ginny
    November 20, 2015, 9:54 pm

    Almost brought me to tears. I was raised with a Nona much like these ladies. I am third generation and this was spot on genuine and wonderful Italian. Marketing genius and topped with awesomsauce… I will sign up for Michigan.. I make a great sauce myself…

  • Marsha Cowan
    November 20, 2015, 11:22 pm

    Adorable! I want a Nonna again. Mine was a great cook, too, only not Italitan. Great commercials!

  • November 21, 2015, 1:40 am

    Loved this! Very clever advertising for Johnsonville Sausage. Also highlights Tiny Houses on Wheels and Uber! The Nonnas are wonderful. And yes, kitchen safety seems to be an issue with the THOW moving.

  • Irene
    November 21, 2015, 1:43 am

    Wow. I love the tiny houses. The Nonnas set them off wonderfully with the cooking. Is it legal to ride in a moving trailer anywhere in the US? Those are fun commercials and great ladies sharing with everyone.

  • Susie
    November 21, 2015, 5:54 am

    Thanks Alex that was lovely and fun…

  • Maria
    November 21, 2015, 7:39 am

    Cute! But I want to know is who built their tiny houses. I like all three designs. Alex do you know who built their homes?

  • Susan
    November 21, 2015, 10:20 am

    I want to be a sausage Nona. First I need to get a house. I love all of the houses and the Nonas!

  • Annette
    November 21, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Thanks for this post – terrific fun. Loved that remark: “My favorite thing in the kitchen? It’s the stove….” Exactly.

  • Varenikje
    November 21, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Wow! Similar comments to others. Moving and cooking at the same time? I don’t think so! But quite funny! My grandma was kind of like one of these Nonna’s but different in her own way (of course).

  • Theresa Johnson
    November 21, 2015, 2:58 pm

    I loved these videos! Very funny! These Nonna’s were great sports to cook and interview while things were falling and swinging all around them. The tiny homes looked cozy. I wish I could have seen more of the tiny houses design/layout.

  • Kathy
    November 22, 2015, 2:04 pm

    Cute as Christmas! These ladies look like they are enjoying the hell out of being part of this adventure. Thank you Alex. You always bring us the most fun stuff to look at and enjoy! PS – I must have a blue and white tiny house with a tiny white picket fence!

    • Alex
      November 24, 2015, 9:43 am

      Thanks Kathy I’m glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was really fun too 😀

  • Eldaka
    November 22, 2015, 2:06 pm

    I thought the commerciald were great snd the ladies were simply adorable. The tiny homes seemed equally adorable. However, I was concerned about them being in the tiny homes while in motion. But I would watch them.

  • alice h
    November 23, 2015, 1:36 pm

    Absolutely fabulous, had me cracking up. As for cooking while driving – seriously? Come on, it’s easy enough to make the house rock as if it were moving without having to actually drive down the road. Does anybody really think a commercial like that would be made without serious safety guidelines? People are not legally allowed to be inside trailers when they’re being driven down the road. For film making there are all sorts of ways to make something look like it’s real without actually having to do that thing, or they get it done with well trained stunt people and a lot of controls. Honestly people, some of these safety lecture impulses are out of control!

  • Alyce
    November 24, 2015, 5:43 am

    Nonna’s were wonderful. Loved the “grandma” decor of their Tiny Homes. I got concerned when the lamp almost hit one in the head and the food fell. The spontinaity of their giving out pasta and hugs in Chi Town was adorable. A little more diversity would have been nice.

  • Glema
    December 1, 2015, 7:27 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks Alex I really enjoyed this work of yours and theirs 🙂
    I love the Nonnas and the THOW’s My favorite of the tree houses would be the mint one, so pretty outside and in. The one in the middle looks a bit small but the other two are great! The Nonna’s priceless! God bless you all and your Nonna’s. Too cool! Happy Trails and Happy Deliveries 🙂

  • Becky
    March 15, 2016, 3:07 pm

    The Nonna’s are wonderful … wish I had one of my own … and I’m a big fan of tiny houses. And kudos to Johnsonville for a clever, timely commercial. That being said, why is it that these three Italian ladies with all their stereotypical cooking, talking and dress are acceptable while the use of three stereotypical African-American grandmothers, Muslim grandmothers or almost any other ethnicity would most certainly create riots in the streets? I understand why Aunt Jemima had to be done away with; to many African-Americans her attire was seen as a symbol of slavery. The fact that children of every color grew up loving her and completely accepting of her color couldn’t possibly be considered a GOOD thing. However, years later when Papa Gino’s came out with “Mama Gino,” an outrageously stereotypical version of many elderly Italian women in her black shoes, stockings and dress … I don’t remember whether they had her wearing the characteristic black shawl around her shoulders or over her head … not one word was said! Nor should it have been, any more than Aunt Jemima … in her updated form, of course … should have been considered a symbol of slavery; couldn’t those characters have been seen as a way for everyone to get to know and accept their cultures? Still, why is it OK to use a stereotype of one nationality/ethnicity in an ad … especially when they are portrayed as lovable characters … but not OK for certain other nationalities/ethnicities? Why aren’t Italian-Americans demonstrating in the streets over these commercials? While my grandmother wasn’t Italian, she came from a region in Austria that later became Italy, and as she got older she favored the stereotypical black stocking-black shoes-black shawl mode of dress used in the “Mama Gino” commercials. She didn’t arrive at Ellis Island as a slave, but she and her entire family were treated like dirt because of their accents, and the “No Italians/Polish/Irish Need Apply” signs in the windows of the stores prohibited them from finding jobs. Those people who were lucky enough to make it through Ellis Island without being turned away because they had a cough or a sty … although people with tuberculosis and illnesses that have long been eradicated in this country are now eagerly accepted and moved into the unsuspecting population … suffered poverty, hunger, a lack of healthcare, discrimination, etc. And yet for some reason, we find it acceptable and amusing to make fun of them in commercials. And yes, I realize that these three ladies are seen today, in 2016, but they have all the stereotypical behaviors of the originals who arrived at Ellis Island, and their cultural quirks are exactly the same. Just makes me wonder why we can’t find all our quirky grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers equally lovable and amusing.

  • Gabrielle Charest
    March 15, 2016, 10:18 pm

    The “Nonnas are adorable and the commercials are great! Maybe this will inspire other companies to create commercials with grandmothers and grandfathers of other ethnicities.

  • jake
    March 16, 2016, 8:52 am

    Hysterically funny, warm and wonderful. Such authentically precious women. Excellent filming and special effects. As for legality, if those are 10′-wide, compact lanes, the trailer widths seem 8′-6″ or less and the towing was probably legal. If regular 12′ lanes, then perhaps the filmers obtained special permits that allowed for no flags, signs or rotating lights. Obviously the camera car could have also functioned as a trailing pilot car. But I seriously doubt the Nonnas or the public were in danger. The absurdity of precious Noonas cooking for love despite mortal danger is the spice, and reminds me of Lucille Ball’s antics in ‘The Long, Long Trailer’ (1953).

  • tifeni
    March 17, 2017, 1:32 pm

    Hello Alex: I am really interested in seeing the whole interiors of these Nonna’s tiny homes. The wall paper and décor is very much more like we older grandmas and the new tiny home designs are mostly modern, cabin like with lots of wood. Those are lovely, but the wall paper and furniture in these are things we identify with. Would you research this and send out a newer current newsletter on possibly seeing these tiny homes again. Thank you. Tifeni

  • Suzanne
    November 22, 2017, 3:42 pm

    I give it two thumbs up for fun, entertaining and cute tiny homes! All of the short videos were pure joy, for me! Thanks for sharing! Suzanne

  • Alyshia
    November 22, 2017, 6:02 pm

    Fabulous. Every little thing. Love the nonnas.

  • penny grieco
    November 22, 2017, 11:19 pm

    i love it! those houses are adorable! reminds me of my little tiny italian grandma….she’s an angel in heaven…this brings back so many memories…ty alex…

  • keepyourpower
    November 23, 2017, 4:18 am

    It is so illegal for them to cook in the home, while it is moving down the road. VERY dangerous, too.

  • November 23, 2017, 7:33 am

    Here is the Blessed Peace!….of the Senses

  • Sabell
    November 23, 2017, 5:19 pm

    Haha.. I love it when tiny house people pull up to gas up their house 😀

    So silly, I lova da sausage!

    • Sabell
      November 23, 2017, 5:38 pm

      I always wanted a crazy Italian family and esp. a Nonna growing up. I think I would have had a lot more fun with a sense of laughter and freedom! My kind of people!

  • Karen Blackburn
    November 21, 2018, 9:47 am

    Not sure what the point of these ads was to be honest. The ofpdd Hollywood style Italian accents don’t help, there are quite a few Italians living near where I am but none speak English like this, certainly they don’t add an ‘a’ onto the end of every word. In addition the thought of lasagna or meatballs made from sausages is revolting. Sausage meat (as in stuffging) maybe but I guess the sausage is something peculiar to US. Like the outside of the tiny homes though even if we are expected to believe they can cook and answer the phone whilest being illegally driven on the roads. By the way, why do ALL these THoWs require such a huge vehicle to tow them? Would be easier and cheaper to have them carted on a trailer while the owner drives a little (1l) smart car or similar. I’ve noticed almost everyone says they are looking to reduce their carbon footprint etc but then the pictures show these huge gas guzzling polluting vehicles needed to tow them. One cancels out the other. Weird and seemingly inexplicable.

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