Wienke Family Named Entrepreneurs of the Year

The Door County Economic Development Corporation announced recently that the Wienke Family, owners of Wienke’s Market in Southern Door County  are the winners of the tenth annual Door County Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The announcement came during the April 30, 2013 DCEDC annual investors meeting at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.

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.
The company produces over 100 canned food items on site in Door County, which includes over 30 pickle varieties, pie fillings, and over 50 jam varieties. All products are made in small batches without additives or preservatives. They have over 200 wholesale accounts throughout the state of Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Upper Michigan, and Iowa, and in 2012 they expanded to include the states of Alaska and Nevada.

Their company has seen an average of double-digit growth over the past three years, and they hope to continue to reach out to new customers and expand their business further than the upper Midwest, while continuing to offer a great product for their customers. The company donates to basically any organization that asks, and they employ 20-25 people from the local area year-round on a full-time or part-time basis, and add 5-10 seasonal employees.

“It is our pleasure to recognize the Wienke Family with the Entrepreneur of the Year award,” said DCEDC Executive Director Bill Chaudoir. “This home-grown company is at the intersection of agriculture, manufacturing and tourism in Door County, bringing the three pillars of our economy together. We wish them nothing but continued success.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award celebrates those individuals who have taken the initiative to start and grow a successful small business in Door County. Eligible businesses include those with fewer than 50 full time employees, exhibiting exciting growth potential and that have at least three years of successful business experience. Last year’s winner was Dan Schwarz, owner and founder of Dan’s Fish, Inc. in Sturgeon Bay.

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