An iconic Door County cheesemaker earned a badge of distinction Tuesday as Renard's Cheese & Deli was named Door County Industry of the Year by the Door County Economic Development Corporation.
The award recognizes a local construction, service or manufacturing business that has made a substantial impact on the community and enjoyed significant accomplishments during the past year. The announcement came during the DCEDC annual investors meeting at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.
The third generation family business has been a part of the Door County landscape for 51 years but has really taken off recently. In 2010, Renard's Cheese had six year-round employees; today they have 29. Ten of those were added this past fall to accommodate the expansion of their new facility as well as production needs. In the months following the grand opening of their new 1900 square foot retail store their business increased a remarkable 70%.
DCEDC also recognized an Entrepreneur of the Year, bestowing that honor to the Wienke Family, owners of Wienke's Market in Southern Door County.
Wienke's Market has been a family owned-and operated business for over 35 years. Don and Jane Wienke moved to their unique Door County farmstead in 1967. When their hobby garden became too large for their family, they started selling their bountiful crops in a roadside stand. Blemished fruit and vegetables were canned and preserved by both Don and Jane's mothers. In 1982 their barn was converted into a market.
In 1990, the barn was insulated to become a year-round facility. A federally and state approved kitchen was added to enable the Wienke's to process pickles and jams from the recipes passed down from their mothers. Today Wienke's Market is a year-round destination for visitors and locals of Door County.