Shop Small! Small Business Saturday is November 26

In 2010, the Small Business Saturday promotion was created and sponsored by American Express, who registered the URL and registered the trademark for the term Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is held each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. The hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday was created on Twitter in early 2010 and is now used to promote small businesses on any Saturday. Additional hashtags have come into common use across multiple social media platforms including #SmallBizSat, #SmallBizSaturday and#ShopSmall promoted on Twitter at American Express also published an official Facebook Page at

Anyone can get some valuable Small Business Saturday marketing graphics and tools at the American Express dedicated website.

Door County Buy Local Monthly Mixers Resume

Door County Buy Local business networking mixers return from their summer recess on Wednesday, November 4, from 5:30 – 7 pm at We Are HOPE, Inc., 1300 Egg Harbor Road in the Cherry Point Mall, Sturgeon Bay.


The event will feature a program from Sandy Duckett, CEO of We Are HOPE. The mixer will include a tour of the Door County Job Center. Buy Local mixers also provide time for an update about the status and activities of the Door County Buy Local program.

The December Buy Local Mixer will be hosted by the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, December 2 with their annual Merry-Time Festival of Trees. The museum will be decorated with dozens of beautifully decorated trees, all hosted by local businesses. Door County Buy Local will be the proud sponsor of a tree this year. If your business is not already sponsoring a tree, we hope you will donate a gift certificate or product that can be used to decorate the Buy Local tree. To donate, just call or email Tree Chairman Jon Gast, co-owner of Edible Door at 920.493.1935or All donors will be recognized on the signage for the tree.

These networking events are open to anyone interested in learning more about the Buy Local initiative in Door County. Attendees are asked to make a $5 donation to help defray costs; refreshments and appetizers will be provided. . To RSVP or if you have questions, please email or call 920.743.3113 ext. 203.

Door County Buy Local on the Benefits of Supporting Local Agriculture, Nov 6

The next Door County Buy Local networking mixer will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 from 5:30 – 7 pm at Wood Orchard Market, 8112 Highway 42, Egg Harbor.

The event will feature a presentation on “The Benefits of Supporting Local Agriculture” from the Ag-Grow Local subcommittee. The Steering Committee will also preview the new Door County Buy Local Website, designed by Boettcher Communications of Sturgeon Bay. The new site will include a searchable database to help consumers find local businesses by product or service categories. There is no cost to be a Buy Local member and be listed on the Website.

The networking event, sponsored by Peninsula Building Systems, is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Buy Local initiative in Door County. Attendees are asked to make a $5 donation to help defray costs; refreshments and appetizers will be served. To RSVP for this event by Friday, November 2nd or if you have questions, please email or call 920.743.3113 ext. 200.

Door County Buy Local Seeds Begin to Sprout

Editorial Comment:

By Roger Utnehmer President and CEO

The Door County Buy Local Initiative is provoking thought and positive discussion. More people are aware of the potential to fuel our local economy to higher performance. The educational campaign is having the additional positive impact of stimulating discussion about other local initiatives that can also benefit Door County. Giving local, volunteering local and hiring local are also important. Donating time and money to local charities, volunteering with local non-profit organizations and hiring local residents for public and private positions are all positive community-building actions.

Other opportunities to work together include vacationing locally, learning locally, growing locally and engaging in government and politics locally by running for office or joining a local political party. The opportunities for good people to do great things locally abound.

To focus on what we can do together is not xenophobic, isolationist or narrowly parochial. Buying locally, giving locally and volunteering locally require no government programs. Vacationing more locally, hiring locally and learning locally require no tax increases. Growing locally and getting involved in civic affairs and politics require no bureaucracy.

The Buy Local Initiative is planting seeds. Some have already grown into more sensitivity to giving and volunteering locally. Let’s work together and expand a sense of “being in it together” and Door County will become an even better place to live.

That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.

Email your response or opinion to the author.

DCEDC Hosts First Door County Buy Local Networking Event, Feb 2

The Door County Buy Local Steering Committee is holding their first Door County BUY LOCAL Networking Event in Northern Door County on Wednesday, February 2, from 5:30-7pm at the Harbor Fish Market & Grille in Baileys Harbor.

This event is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Buy Local Initiative in Door County. There will be a cash bar and munchies. Attendees are asked to make a $5 donation to help defray costs. To RSVP for this event or if you have questions, please call or email DCEDC: 920.743.3113 ext 200 or

The Door County Buy Local program is a grass-roots economic development initiative that seeks to strengthen local businesses, increase employment opportunities and educate the public about the importance of buying locally whenever possible.

The Buy Local Initiative will begin by encouraging networking opportunities between local businesses. A second priority will be educating the public about the economic value of keeping as many dollars as possible in Door County along with efforts to share information about what services and products are available through Door County enterprises.

A third focus will be to encourage non-profit, civic organizations and governmental bodies to do as much business as practical with Door County firms.


Door County’s ‘Buy Local’ Initiative Next Topic of January Green Drinks at Glas Coffehouse, Jan 26

Spending Locally in Door County, WI

The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving the economic vitality of the county and its residents. Founded in 1989, DCEDC has been successful in helping existing businesses create and retain thousands of jobs through a myriad of programs and initiatives. Additionally, DCEDC places strong emphasis on fostering entrepreneurial instincts in county residents as well as those who vacation on the Door County Peninsula. Door County Economic Development Corporation offices are located within the small business incubator DCEDC founded in 1997 at 185 East Walnut Street in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

Door County’s ‘Buy Local’ Initiative Next Topic of January Green Drinks at Glas Coffehouse, Jan 26

Green Drinks Salon takes up the Buy Local Initiative at Glas, the Green Coffeehouse in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, January 26 from 4:30 – 6 pm.

“Buy Local” is now becoming “fashionable’ with the October launch of a Door County Buy Local initiative. Yes, there is already a bumper sticker. But, are the businesses that “talk the talk” actually “walking the walk?” What standards might we include in an authentic and sustainable campaign to encourage Spending Locally? This will be the topic for the January Green Drinks event and may include other topics, as determined be the participants. Green Drinks is a social/salon style meeting for anyone interested in conversing about sustainability-related issues. There is no admission fee.

How does buying from local producers and vendors contribute to a resilient local economy and community? How does buying locally contribute to environmental preservation? What models of “buy local” campaigns exist and how do they work in their communities? If there is enough interest in this topic, a list of suggestions to promote local sustainable economic development in Door County may be generated to offer the Door County Buy Local steering committee.

Green Drinks Sturgeon Bay is part of an international network of local salons of its kind. Sustain Door, the local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of Door County, conducts the regular monthly gathering informally, without agenda. Green Drinks takes place during the Glas happy hour, at which time the establishment offers $2 lattes and cappuccinos.

Glas, The Green Coffeehouse is located at 67 East Maple St. in Sturgeon Bay – phone: 920.743.5575.

Spending Locally in Door County also Means Hiring Locally

A recent Craigslist – Chicago job search says, “Chef Wanted for New Seasonal Tapas Restaurant Opening in Wisconsin.”

A Chicago couple plans to open a seasonal Tapas Restaurant here in Door County, but they have started their search for a chef there.

With so many talented local people here in Door County who know the ins and outs of running a business, we believe that any new business owners would benefit in numerous ways if they found a local resident chef to head their operations. And we feel that spending locally in Door County also means hiring locally

“We are looking for an enthusiastic, creative and industrious Chef seeking summer employment for 2011 and hopefully summers beyond. This 50 seat restaurant and bar will serve traditional Spanish small plates as well as some locally inspired fare. Our goal is to be the most unique and happening place in all of Door County,” says their January 7, 2011 listing.

“The ideal candidate would be someone who can lead a lean operation by example. The ideal Chef would also have the drive to set the bar high in an up-and-coming dining scene. He or she would also be someone who values his or her freedom in the off-season to pursue other gigs or travel. We are hoping this could be the beginning of a long a beautiful arrangement.”

They encourage respondents to be spontaneous: “You can skip the stuffy cover letter and let your personality show in the email.”

See the craigslist job listing and reply via that email address.

A Short Lesson in the Economics of Spending Locally

My friend Nigel Ward who lives in Whitby, UK sends the following lesson in how local spending can strengthen a local economy…

Editor’s Note: Whitby is an old, historic, coastal town located in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England that is very similar in many ways to Door County’s own Sturgeon Bay. Shipbuilding, fishing and tourism have been the mainstays of both town’s economies however, Whitby can trace it’s history back quite a bit farther to include a Viking invasion. One of Whitby’s most notable tourists was the author Bram Stoker who set parts of his novel Dracula in and around Whitby.

It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub.

The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit.

The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.

The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

Advocate and Door County Style Pick up the Buy Local Beat!

In a recent Door County Advocate article, Gift local reporter Ramelle Bintz reminds readers, “Don’t overlook ‘Made in Door County‘ holiday gifts. A gift box from Door County doesn’t necessarily mean cheese and sausage.”

She lists the following Door County businesses that process their own local specialty foods at the certified Farm Market Kitchen in Algoma and says they can be contacted directly for their products:

  • Anna’s of Door County, Sister Bay, snacks, candies, bakery 920.854.2481
  • Crystal Barnard, Egg Harbor, jams 920.743.7434
  • Country View Farms, Sturgeon Bay, maple syrup products 920.743.1637 or 920.743.5857
  • Crusty Uprising, Sister Bay/Algoma, Artisan breads 920.421.1913
  • Door County Signature Spices LLC, Sturgeon Bay, spice blends 920.743.4285
  • Door County Wildwood Market, Sister Bay, jams, bakery, cherry products, pickles 920.421.0995
  • Going Granola/Grammy G LLC, Sturgeon Bay, granola 920.743.8892
  • Penny Lane Farm LLC, Baileys Harbor, Asian sauces 920.854.9890
  • Villagios, Egg Harbor, marinara sauce 920.868.3515

A week ago, Door County Style Magazine editor, Stephen Kastner led off with the first installment of a “Made in Door County” series that celebrates local author and publisher Ralph Murre, in Arem Arvinson Log Celebrates 5th Year of Online Publication, 3rd Book in Print.

Kastner explains, “Ralph Murre is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. His latest book, The Price of Gravity, from Auk Ward Editions, is a fine example of unique things Made in Door County.

You can find three sizes of our new “Made in Door County” badges (left) at our Facebook “Like” page:

Thinking Locally as we Begin the Holiday Season…

Some cultures believe the year ends and begins on Halloween. With the coming of Thanksgiving, we begin to roll out a series of ever-expansive new year holiday celebrations – testing our endurance, our budgets and our psyches.

...a little common senseI hope I am not being overly dramatic in quoting Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s minds,” in reference to the holiday spirit. We face so many challenges at the moment on so many different levels of existence, that making the choice to place greater emphasis on “local” seems to be almost an instinctive reaction – one born out of self-preservation. And one that shares some of that same revolutionary spirit that founded this Nation a short time ago.

We are faced with the task of overthrowing a new form of colonialism, one in which large corporations extract the wealth from our local communities, frequently extinguishing independent, locally owned, small business interests. The initial out-of-pocket savings may be hard to resist until you do the math to see the long term costs to the community in which you live.

One also has to call into question the “loyalty” of corporations that are driven by the desire to increase their bottom line, sending American jobs offshore to China and Mexico. Now is the time for another revolution – one that places people above corporations. We have the numbers and we make the choices by voting with our dollars to invest in the health and well being of local, independent, privately owned businesses.

Whether it’s in Iowa or Wisconsin, the message is universal. Money spent in big box stores, chains and franchises does not recirculate throughout the community as much as money spent at locally-owned enterprises. The environmental savings are also quite significant.

“In almost every way buying your food locally has been proven to be a good thing,” says Transition Helston organizer Bernie Doeser, “less food miles, less packaging, healthy, fresh seasonal food. It supports small businesses and keeps money circulating in the local economy.”

Transition Towns are springing up all over Europe and especially within the United Kingdom as part of a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction.

Whether its in England or America, grassroots groups are exploring many of these truly revolutionary concepts: thinking, buying, growing and spending locally. We invite you to join in the process of learning and sharing ideas on what works for you and what else there is to do. It’s time to begin the transition…

This Holiday Season find unique gifts made right here in Door County, keeping more financial resources in the community by spending locally:

  • Support the local creatives: artists, craftspeople, musicians and poets all have original work for sale,
  • Performing Arts venues and organizations have tickets or season passes to stage plays, music festivals and concerts,
  • Consider the gift of learning: lessons in cooking, art, dance, voice, piano and guitar or classes at the Clearing, NWTC or YMCA,
  • Buy gift passes to local museums and other attractions,
  • How about the gift of a massage, hair styling or nails?
  • Seek out a local tailor,
  • Take a friend out for dinner at one of the many family-owned and operated restaurants in Door County,
  • Buy fresh vegetables, plants and flowers grown locally,
  • Give beers and wines made in Door County,
  • Search out fresh bakery goods made here daily,
  • Find meats, poultry and fish from the area,
  • Consider the local candy store for homemade treats,
  • Door County even has a made-in-Door pet treat store!