The Door County Economic Development Corporation announced recently that Renard’s Cheese Store & Deli is the winner of the Door County Industry of the Year Award. The annual 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 April 30, 2013 DCEDC annual investors meeting at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.
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.
This precise art has awarded Renard’s not only a reputation of great standards but also the ribbons to match. Their award winning Two-Year Aged White Cheddar is one of their best selling cheeses. Over the past several years, they have expanded their product line to include flavor infused cheeses such as; Morel & Leek Jack, Cranberry Jalapeno Monterey Jack, and over 50 other specialty cheeses. One of their newest creations is the Door County Untouchable Cheddar, where they soak their Two-Year White Cheddar in Simon Creek Winery’s Untouchable Red Wine for three days.
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 this past fall 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%.
Both Ann and Chris are active in the community, and they provide support through the business as well. Since 2003, they have conducted the Carrie Ann Renard Memorial Golf Outing. Carrie Ann Renard was Chris’ sister, who was very active in Southern Door School Sports. In honor of her memory this annual fundraiser is held every July and all the proceeds are given to the Southern Door School Booster Club. Renard’s Cheese is also participating in Reading Rewards, which is designed to promote reading as well as healthy snacking. Ann and Chris are also very passionate about the services that are provided by Door CANcer, which offers help to local cancer patients.
“We are pleased to recognize Renard’s Cheese Store & Deli as our industry of the year,” said DCEDC Executive Director Bill Chaudoir. “They have been an important part of our local economy for many years and we can only hope that will continue for many years to come. Chris and Ann represent an exciting new generation of cheesemakers and owners for this Door County company.”