Inside Alef Sausage in Mundelein. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Inside Alef Sausage in Mundelein. (Credit: Steve Miller)

MUNDELEIN (CBS) — Alef Sausage in Mundelein was founded by Alec Mikhaylov, who came to Chicago from Ukraine in 1992.

“When I came here, I used to work as carpenter. As construction engineer. As pizza driver.”

A wide variety of jobs.

“I had to survive.”

Mikhaylov started Alef Sausage as a storefront in the year 2000. Now it’s a 40,000 square-foot factory with a staff of 13.

More than 40 meat products, including salamis, beef, pork and veal are sold to stores and distributors in most states, and in Canada.

Into the mix: pepper, salt, sugar, nutmeg, allspice and coriander.

The taste? Like what he remembers when he was a boy back in Ukraine in the 1960s.

“But when I grow up in my country, it was not so easy to get product like that…

“We didn’t have so much food like in the United States. We didn’t have so much service. But we were happy, you know?”

Alec Mikhaylov’s sales director says Mikhaylov is at the factory from 6:30 in the morning until after 9 at night.

Mikhaykov says he loves his work.

“It is my life.”

63-year-old Alec Mikhaylov, owner of Alef Sausage in Mundelein.

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