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Rural Wisconsin coffee company crafts nationwide presence

Vicki Wilson teaches Coffee 1-A in her Coffee College at Door County Coffee and Tea Company
Thomas Wilmer

A visit with Vicki Wilson, founder of Wisconsin’s Door County Coffee and Tea Company. Ms. Wilson’s business, in addition to serving more than 100 distinctive freshly roasted coffees in her café, also does a thriving internet business across America, along with private label distribution to businesses such as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Door County Coffee and Tea Company Cafe
Credit Thomas Wilmer
Door County Coffee and Tea Company Cafe

It’s fascinating discovering Ma and Pa small town businesses across America’s heartland--businesses with a product that somehow goes viral with a fond following across the country.

Sierra Nevada Brewery for example started out as a college town small micro-brewery. There’s Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing in Columbus, Nebraska. Back the 1940s Dorothy started out making small batches for the local American Legion lodge. Word got around and today the dressing is retailed in 35 states. and this same story applies to Door County Coffee and Tea Company--who would imagine that a rural, small town coffee company could create a nationwide presence and employ more than 50 full-time staff.

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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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