A long-time northern Door County business now holds the distinction of being this year’s “Entrepreneur of the Year,” by way of the Door County Economic Development Corporation. The Johnson family, owners of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik, was recognized for the entrepreneurial spirit that begin in 1949 with Al Johnson and continues today with his children Lars, Rolf and Annika Johnson. Al’s wife, Ingert, was also recognized for her business and customer savvy over the years. The Sister Bay business is more than just the place with “goats on the roof,” serving over 3,000 people per day July through October. It has experienced 25% sales growth over the past three years, selling its famous lingonberries, pancake mix, cookies and more online. A new 5,000 square foot production and warehouse facility, currently under construction, will help the company expand its product line to grocery and retail shelf space across the midwest. 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. The award is handed out each year at the annual meeting of the Door County Economic Development Corporation.
Pro Products, Incorporated was named the winner of the Door County “Industry of the Year” award during the annual meeting of the Door County Economic Development Corporation Wednesday afternoon. The Sturgeon Bay firm was incorporated in the year 2000, making aftermarket automotive components. Six years later, it began manufacturing machined parts for original equipment manufacturers. Today, Pro Products provides computer numerical control machining, small fabrications and weldments and part assembly services. The company works with all types of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, plastics, castings and forgings. Since last year, 80% of its business has been to clients nationwide. The family-run business, led by company directors Joseph, Sandy, Jonathan and Steven Hurley, has a staff of more than 40 employees. 2017 marks the 44th year the Door County “Industry of the Year” award has been handed out. The first award was presented by the Door County Chamber of Commerce in 1973.