For as long as I can remember I have been surrounded by superior cooks and bakers. My Scandinavian grandmother would bring canisters of Norwegian treats when she visited our home. We waited impatiently for her in the morning as she carefully made Swedish pancakes on a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. There were eight of us grandkids, so she made A LOT of pancakes. My mother carried on many of her mother's baking traditions. Friends often gathered at our home knowing that they would be served incredible fare. Her brownies were legendary and many a close friend, or even mere acquaintance, would stop by hoping that my mother had baked that day.
In college, I became the cook. I prepared quite a few meals at my little apartment and hungry college students, tired of cafeteria food, would gather to wolf down home cooked meals. Chili with cornbread was just one of the favorite meals.
I have four children of my own now and I love to cook for them. My husband always relays his satisfaction with my home-cooked meals and is very thankful since he spends much of the week on the road. I now have other kids coming by and requesting foods prior to their visit, mostly home-baked bread and cookies. I also make Norwegian krumkake each year to give as gifts to my friends. We dabble in all types of specialty diets in our home: vegan, raw foods, gluten-free, and we try to expose our kids to all kinds of ethnic fare. One of our goals has always been to prepare home-cooked healthy meals.
So how did I get here? Life got busy with four kids and suddenly we were eating quicker meals and boxed cereal for breakfast. One day I took a look at the label and decided that was enough. I started making granola and my pickiest child loved it. I perfected it by combining several recipes and started giving it as gifts. After a drop-off in the fall of 2014, my friend texted me and said "you should really sell this, I can't stop eating it!" Later I dropped some off by my sister, and she told me how addicting it was. She and her husband have continued to be so encouraging to me as I get this business off of the ground. My sister and some friends jokingly started calling it "Carol's crack". I knew that was NOT a marketable name! Born and raised in Door County, I have a deep-seated appreciation for small-town life, values, and the beautiful land on which I am blessed to raise my own family. Inspired by the community that surrounds me, Door County Love Artisan Granola was born.
I started baking out of a shared use kitchen one and a half hours away from my home. My husband helped me cook and my four children help in various ways. After that we baked out of Fireside Restaurant in Ellison Bay in the mornings. We soon outgrew this space, as we were having large pallets of oats delivered straight to the kitchen. We had an opportunity to rent a small commercial kitchen in Sister Bay and we did that for 1.5 years. During that time my husband started roasting coffee and we added fresh roasted, small batch coffee to our items.
During the winter of 2017 we had the opportunity to work with Island Orchard Cider and build out a kitchen and small retail space in a newly acquired building. It was a rough winter and per usual took much longer than expected. However, on May 13, 2017 we received our food processing plant license and began producing in our current kitchen. On Memorial Day weekend we opened our retail store. It has been wonderful to be back in Ellison Bay where I was raised and to be surrounded by the community I love. We have had numerous friends and family that have been so supportive and it really touches me. It is an honor to know that our granola and coffee is in people's homes and often we are part of the beginning of their day. I have always liked mornings, sunrises and the hope that a new day brings, so I think it fitting!
Thank you to our families, our friends and our loyal customers! Thank you for the encouragement and love!