Chris Hadraba

May 10, 2018

Chris and Jessica Hadraba and Lisa and Kevin Howard are Wisconsinites through and through. Lisa and her brother Chris grew up in Wisconsin and found their soulmates—Kevin and Jessica, respectively—in state.

Years after Lisa married Kevin and Chris married Jessica, the quartet took a detour to Florida’s Marco Island. While there, Lisa and Kevin groomed dogs together at a pet resort with Jessica’s help. Meanwhile, a mile away, Chris cooked up some of Marco Island’s best burgers at a marina.

Though successful in Florida, Lisa, Kevin, Jessica and Chris longed to return to the Badger State. All four dreamed of opening a business together there, and Jessica and Chris wanted to come back home to raise their two kids.

Specifically, the quartet wanted to settle in Wisconsin’s picturesque tourist mecca—the Door Peninsula. Plenty of its visitors would surely understand why. Each year, 2 million people visit the peninsula for its stunning views along a 300-mile shoreline. Once there, they drink at its wineries, dine at its fish boils, rent boats and kayaks from its harbors, and pick cherries from its orchards.

Lisa, Kevin, Jessica and Chris realized their dream in 2016, when they moved to Door County and purchased a Fish Creek cherry orchard and historic market formerly called Ray’s Cherry Hut. Since 1950, the Cherry Hut had been a roadside store alongside Wisconsin’s Highway 42. Unfortunately, the Door County institution was in bad shape. Its old store and cherry trees were decaying from years of neglect.

Fortunately, Lisa, Kevin, Jessica and Chris breathed new life into the old property. After a year of elbow grease, sweat and renovations, they opened a new market called White Cottage Red Door. Given its stomping grounds, the store sells “everything cherry,” including cherry pies, cherry jam and cherry beer. At White Cottage Red Door, you can also get other specialty foods, fudge, wine tastings, and souvenirs like Wisconsin-shaped magnets and greetings cards depicting Door County.

For its owners, White Cottage Red Door is a labor of love. They enjoy working together as a family and complementing one another’s skill sets. Always-careful Lisa makes sure the business’s accounting and paperwork is in order. Confectionary-extraordinaire Kevin satisfies a visitor’s sweet tooth. Expert-marketer Jessica handles the store’s social media. It is no surprise that White Cottage Red Door’s brick-and-mortar business started strong.

But White Cottage Red Door’s owners were not done growing their business. Given Chris’s talents as grill master, they wanted to expand their store’s menu and offer customers burgers and other sandwiches. And they knew that some hungry campers on the move did not have time for a sit-down meal. So White Cottage Red Door added a state-licensed food truck on its property, a few feet away from its brick-and-mortar store.

Unfortunately, Gibraltar’s town board had other ideas.

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