CISSNA PARK, Ill. (WCIA) — In downtown Cissna Park, you’ll find a hidden storefront, widely known for its pork products from a 45,000-head hog farm, just outside of town.
“We’re a farrow to finish operation,” says Heidi Maul, “and that’s how we’ve been for almost 50 years.
“It’s a lot of work, but we’re proud of it. My mom and dad, Bill and Wanda Maul, started the farm about 50 years ago. Over that time, my older sister Jeanne, and John, my older brother John worked there as younger kids, up through teenage years. Eventually, John came back to the farm, and he now actually runs the day-to-day operations of the farm. And my youngest brother Steven, who worked on the farm growing up, but he is actually still there and he is in charge of the grain operation — and helps out wherever needed.”
“And then Heidi here, she works in the farrowing barns and the gestation barns, she manages the sow herd,” says Maul.
In addition to farm duties, Heidi Maul and Marti Bauer are also proprietors of Perfume Acres County Store, a relatively new consumer outlet for the pork operation. It draws a crowd of customers.
“One of our most popular items is our America’s Cut Chop,” says Bauer. It’s a single-cut loin chop that is 1-inch thick. We also have a bone-in chop which is 1-inch thick. Both are really good options for grilling and really one of our most popular items.”
“And for burgers we have a few options,” says Maul. “We have the bratwurst burger, which instead of being in link form like a brat, it’s going to be a burger, same seasoning same flavor as a brat.”
The reason you have not seen the farm is its special biosecurity measures to protect the public and hogs.
“All of our employees are PQA certified, which means they have to pass a test to handle our livestock,” says Maul. “So that just means we are taught on how to handle hogs, how to move hogs, and all the proper protocol anything to do with swine we have to learn it and we have to pass the test to be able to work with them.”
WCIA: Where did Perfume Acres name come from?
“It’s a little bit of a unique name, Perfume Acres Farm name,” says Maul. “It was actually just a neighbor who made a joke about smelling our perfume and it honestly just stuck for 50 years. So, here we are.”