Successful Sausage Shop

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The Maier family has a long history of cutting and processing meat.

Mike Maier said it all started with his grandfather, who owned a grocery store during the 1970's in Elk Mound.

"They needed someone to cut deer, so i jumped in and picked it up pretty easy."

In 1990, Maier opened Mike's Star Market, a grocery store of his own, in the same building his grandfather once owned. He eventually would concentrate on meat processing specifically.

Led to believe he wouldn't be able to expand in Elk Mound, he moved the shop to Eau Claire, where it opened in late February.

"The welcoming we've received here has just been awesome," said Dawne Hanson. She's worked with Maier for fourteen years now, and is now a co-owner of the business.

"It never gets monotonous. It's always something different everyday and that's what keeps me here."

Though Mike's has been through plenty of changes, one thing that's stayed the same is the family flavor. Both of Mike's children work at the shop, and may even end up running it someday.

"We all work together, they know what it entails and they can learn the business and they help out a lot," Maier said.

Though the workload is shared among everyone at Mike's, Maier's secret recepies for Venison Bacon and Pepperoni Sticks are not. He won't even write down the bacon recipe, but his customer base doesn't seem to mind.

"As it warms up, they'll get the grills out and they'll want their thicker steaks and specialty brats and stuff like that."

Mike's is in the midst of a five-year committment to do business in Eau Claire, with an option to stay for ten.