Business Success Stories

Local businesses that found great success in Door County.

Read some of our favorite success stories from locals like you.

There are many places where your business can prosper. Below is a collection of Door County Economic Development Corporation business success stories that preview our work that are growing Door County.

Kick Ash

Since 2014, Kick Ash Products has been developing innovative products under the trade names Door County Love Granola and Kick Ash Coffee. Over the past five years, these products have been met with great enthusiasm, which inspired Carol and Christian Ash to expand their business into an owned facility now located at 12001 Mink River Road in Ellison Bay.

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Kick Ash

Since 2014, Kick Ash Products has been developing innovative products under the trade names Door County Love Granola and Kick Ash Coffee. Over the past five years, these products have been met with great enthusiasm, which inspired Carol and Christian Ash to expand their business into an owned facility now located at 12001 Mink River Road in Ellison Bay.

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One Barrel Brewing Company

In just a few weeks beer enthusiasts will be able to raise a pint and celebrate Door County’s newest craft brewery, One Barrel Brewing Company. The brewery, to be located
at 4633 Market Street, across the street from Main Street Market, opens for business on Thursday, May 23.

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One Barrel Brewing Company

The Central Door region includes the populous City of Sturgeon Bay.  Historically, Sturgeon Bay’s economic development started with shipbuilding which is still strong today. Related businesses grew around shipbuilding and today you’ll find modern pharmacies and medical facilities next door to charming Bed & Breakfasts.

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Richard Rose Culinary

Richard Rose Culinary, a manufacturer of high-quality hand-crafted wooden kitchen products, has acquired additional manufacturing equipment in order to expand production here. The expansion was necessary due to high demand for their innovative products.

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Richard Rose Culinary

Richard Rose Culinary, a manufacturer of high-quality hand-crafted wooden kitchen products, has acquired additional manufacturing equipment in order to expand production here. The expansion was necessary due to high demand for their innovative products.

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Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours

A longtime employee of the popular Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours (FCSBT) has a new owner, and it is someone with first-hand knowledge of providing safe and friendly customer service to visitors of Door County.

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Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours

A longtime employee of the popular Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours (FCSBT) has a new owner, and it is someone with first-hand knowledge of providing safe and friendly customer service to visitors of Door County.

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Wild Tomato

Since opening his first restaurant in Fish Creek in 2008, Wild Tomato’s Britton “Britt” Unkefer’s menu has been pleasing the taste buds of Door County residents and visitors alike. Expanding to first to Sister Bay and now in Egg Harbor, consumers have been supportive of Britt’s ideals of sustainability, fresh ingredients, and local growers in affordable, family-friendly restaurants.

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Wild Tomato

Since opening his first restaurant in Fish Creek in 2008, Wild Tomato’s Britton “Britt” Unkefer’s menu has been pleasing the taste buds of Door County residents and visitors alike. Expanding to first to Sister Bay and now in Egg Harbor, consumers have been supportive of Britt’s ideals of sustainability, fresh ingredients, and local growers in affordable, family-friendly restaurants.

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Renard’s Cheese & Deli, LLC

Renard’s Cheese is a family owned and operated business that is now on its third generation of cheesemakers. Over the past 51 years, Renard’s Cheese has become an iconic Door County business, and is on a trajectory to successfully build upon that status for many years to come.

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Renard’s Cheese & Deli, LLC

Renard’s Cheese is a family owned and operated business that is now on its third generation of cheesemakers. Over the past 51 years, Renard’s Cheese has become an iconic Door County business, and is on a trajectory to successfully build upon that status for many years to come.

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Key Industrial Plastics

Key Industrial Plastics, Inc. is a vacuum forming and plastic fabricating company with design, prototyping and value added services. Equipment includes three modern vacuum forming machines – two sheet fed and one roll fed – as well as four CNC routers.

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Key Industrial Plastics

Key Industrial Plastics, Inc. is a vacuum forming and plastic fabricating company with design, prototyping and value added services. Equipment includes three modern vacuum forming machines – two sheet fed and one roll fed – as well as four CNC routers.

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Featured Businesses That Are Proud To Call Door County Home

Chris & Ann Renard – Renard’s Cheese & Deli, LLC

Renard’s Cheese is a family owned and operated business that is now on its third generation of cheesemakers. Over the past 51 years, Renard’s Cheese has become an iconic Door County business, and is on a trajectory to successfully build upon that status for many years to come. Though many things have changed throughout the years, their commitment to producing quality, gourmet, and handcrafted cheeses has never wavered.

Today, Ann and Chris Renard are still focused on a proactive approach to running Renard’s Cheese Store & Deli, which has been evident in the expansion of their product offerings, their increased national distribution, new sales routes throughout the state and the new retail location that was built this past year. The addition of their 1900 square foot retail store has allowed them to increase their cheese offerings and bring in more local products, as well as add a new deli for their customers to enjoy.

Renard’s Cheese Store & Deli of Sturgeon Bay has been averaging 40% growth over the past couple years, which has allowed for many new and exciting additions to the company. In 2010, Renard’s Cheese had six employees; today they have 29 year-round employees. Ten of these employees were added in fall 2012 to accommodate the expansion of the new facility as well as production needs. In the months following the grand opening of the new retail store their business increased a remarkable 70%.

Mike Keyser – Key Industrial Plastics

Key Industrial Plastics, Inc. is a vacuum forming and plastic fabricating company with design, prototyping and value added services. Equipment includes three modern vacuum forming machines – two sheet fed and one roll fed – as well as four CNC routers. Items produced range from industrial wear pads to candle packaging to food service trays. Although they currently manufacture for other companies, Key Industrial Plastics hopes to begin the introduction of their own products by the spring of 2007.

The company started as Key Industrial Prototype Services in August 1998 and was run out of owner Mike Keyser’s garage until they picked up their first steady customer. In March 1999, they leased a 500 square foot industrial space in the Door County Business Development Center business incubator. Within a few months, they outgrew the 500 square foot room and moved into a larger 1,000 square foot space. By April of 2001 the company had grown to fill a 2,000 square foot area. Growth continued and in October of 2002, Keyser relocated his company to a custom build 6,400 square foot facility in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. Designed with future growth in mind, the current location has the capability of adding an additional 6,000 square feet. The company is exploring possible additions to their production capabilities, including injection molding and foaming operations.

Jeremy Popelka and Stephanie Trenchard – Popelka Glass Studios

Jeremy Popelka and Stephanie Trenchard began Popelka Glass Studios in the Door County Business Development Center business incubator facility in 1997. The studio produces award-winning functional and decorative glass artworks in Sturgeon Bay that are carried in galleries around the country, including a line of blown work which utilizes a wide variety of techniques, from optical molds from the Roman Empire to mosaic applications from Murrano. The couple also creates custom and commission work for collectors worldwide, collaborating with architects, designers and homeowners to create specialized glass light fixtures, centerpieces, drawer handles and other household pieces. In January 2003, they relocated into a studio and gallery space in the downtown shopping district of Sturgeon Bay. Door County Economic Development Corporation assisted in financing their start-up and expansion costs through funding from the Revolving Loan Funds administered by DCEDC.

Opportunity Awaits in Door County

Top employers include Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Door County Medical Center, Hatco Corporation, Therma-Tron-X (TTX), Nicolet Bank, Portside Builders, Good Samaritan Society – Scandia Village, Target, County of Door, and the school districts (Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, and Washington Island).

Door County is also home to many thriving small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations.

Find your career in Door County and join “the lucky ones” who live and work here.

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Opportunity Awaits in Door County

Top employers include Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Door County Medical Center, Hatco Corporation, Therma-Tron-X (TTX), Nicolet Bank, Portside Builders, Good Samaritan Society – Scandia Village, Target, County of Door, and the school districts (Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, and Washington Island).

Door County is also home to many thriving small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations.

Find your career in Door County and join “the lucky ones” who live and work here.

Learn More

What’s it like to live in Door County?

Here’s what current residents say about living in Door County.

My husband and I chose to relocate to Door County from the Milwaukee area to allow us more time to enjoy the many outdoor activities that Door County offers, we enjoy spending our time outdoors, hiking, biking and fishing, as opposed to sitting in traffic. Additionally, we enjoy the more laid back and relaxed lifestyle and great close knit community that Sturgeon Bay offers.

Andrew & Kelsey Fox

Lydia and I chose to live Door County because of its unique location and experiences. This is a destination where you can have friends and family visit for vacations while we get to enjoy the amenities whenever we want. Door County is also a place where the residents care about their communities and they are passionate to keep it a welcoming place. We hope to enjoy this place for years to come.

Beau Bernhoft & Lydia Semo

I procured a position as a Tooling Design Engineer at WireTech and relocated to Sturgeon Bay from a large metropolitan area. It worked out great for me. I no longer spend hours commuting. Instead I spend that time biking and hiking in the State Park. The clean air and peaceful atmosphere help to keep my mind clear and I feel healthier.

Paul Sund

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