What do you get when you cross a farmers market with a restaurant, then with a bakery and handmade candy store, and add home décor, putting it all together with an artist’s vision?
You get Door County’s White Cottage Red Door, featuring “artisan goods for home & table.”
You also get warm hospitality and a great selection of food, snacks, and stories. The bakery offers freshly baked pies, Door County cherry donuts, crafted candy and fudge, and ice cream, all in an old roadside farm market-turned-store that is a great Door County experience.
Lisa Howard calls it a “family venture” when several members of their family decided to leave Florida and return to their roots in Door County. “You always miss home,” she says, “and here was this old farmers market building that really needed some love.” A match was made!
Now Lisa and her husband, Kevin, along with her brother Chris Hadraba and his wife, Jessica, work together, each contributing their expertise. Kevin, for example, is a graduate of the Chicago Chocolate Academy, while Jessica is prepared to help find the perfect wine.
The family spent the winter of 2016 gutting and remodeling the old Ray’s Cherry Hut, along with planning their inventory, which now includes wines and ciders along with the marble slab candies and ice cream. It’s a store that is a bit hard to describe, but Howard defines it as, “Not a farmers market in the traditional sense—definitely unique.” The name comes from their remodel of the old roadside stand, which was red with a white door; they simply flipped the colors and made it a white cottage with a bright red door to welcome their guests.
They have embraced the cherry theme that is a big part of Door County’s identity, just as they’ve embraced the region. “We love the small town, small business atmosphere in Door County. Everybody has their favorite places,” says Howard, “and we want to be one of them.” They focus on both tourists and locals, including second homeowners and “people who come once a year.”
So go in and sip coffee from one of their crafted mugs, eat a cherry donut or a cherry streusel bar, and take home a pie or two. It’s like coming home.
This is part of The Food Channel‘s coverage of Door County, Wisconsin, from a recent tour hosted by the Door County Visitor’s Bureau. Find other stories in the series here.
Travel accommodations and tour arrangements in Door County were provided by the Door County Visitors Bureau in conjunction with Geiger & Associates Public Relations.
Photos by Paul K. Logsdon.