Mac's BBQ

Greg McDonald

In 2011, Greg McDonald took a trip to visit friends in West Virginia. At a party there, he noticed a caterer serving delicious BBQ out of a portable smoker and thought “I should get one of those.”

Greg bit the bullet and got himself a smoker. He started experimenting, smoking at family gatherings, and slowly, a business idea began to cook. Coincidently, that was around the same time he started volunteering at Town Square, which housed its own commercial kitchen.

With the opportunity to use Green Lake Kitchens and take his BBQ to the next level, McDonald decided it was time to buy himself a food truck and use the kitchen to startup his business.

His success came quickly when McDonald opened his own restaurant in Fox Lake in 2015, Mac’s BBQ, serving pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, hand pattied burgers, smoked ribs and a plethora of delicious sides.

Mac’s BBQ moved to a bar in Burnette, where Greg was able to operate at a more comfortable scale. Greg still uses Green Lake Kitchens to prepare for larger catered events. He plans to redo his kitchen so that he could operate entirely from his place in Burnette. His goal is to continue smoking the highest quality of meats and make his customers happy.

Fresh Fit Meals

TIFF THELEN & LINDA DIETENBERGER

Tiff and Linda are the owners of FreshFit Meals, offering healthy, fresh, affordable, ready-to-eat meals that they create at Green Lake Kitchens. The two friends developed the business idea by merging their passions: Tiff working in the food and beverage industry, and Linda working in the health field.

They saw a definite opportunity in the market to provide fresh, convenient meals to busy people who want to eat healthy foods. Their biggest challenge was finding a commercial kitchen, and after looking for commercial properties to buy or lease, they discovered Green Lake Kitchens--the perfect solution for this startup business. According to Tiff, “Without Green Lake Renewal, I don’t think we would be starting our business!”

Every week, FreshFit offers a different selection of meals that customers order on line for pick up at one of two locations--including Town Square in Green Lake--the following Monday. In its first year, FreshFit Meals is growing practically faster than Tiff and Linda can keep up with it. Stay tuned on this one, people. These two women are taking this growing industry by storm!

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Horseradish Food Truck

Matt Trotter

Matt Trotter is the owner of the Horseradish Cafe, the groovy food truck that attracts crowds every weekend in Princeton. The cafe is located near Matt’s retail shop, Teak and Soxy, and began on whim when he and his partner found an old school bus on Craigslist and towed it into town. With Matt’s great sense of style, decorating the bus and promoting the business was easy: add a sign and a fantastic yellow awning, a few strings of lights and the Horseradish Cafe went viral on social media. 

There was only one problem: the truck had no kitchen. Enter Green Lake Kitchens. Before every summer weekend, Matt arrives in the kitchens to create the components of his creative sandwich menu, which includes the likes of Cowboy Sliders, New Deli Sliders and the Bahn Me. In 2017, Matt is graduating from the Kitchen to his own bricks-and-mortar restaurant, while the Horseradish Cafe school bus will be on the go at varying locations.

Peppercorn Catering

Lynn Bult

When Lynn Bult arrived at Green Lake Kitchens in 2012, she was a full-time restaurant manager with a Culinary Arts degree and the dream of opening a catering business. Green Lake Kitchens gave her the connections to make that dream into a reality. 

After a year of teaching a wildly-successful series of international cooking classes at the Town Square community center, she had met her first catering clients, the people who would secure her an important and unfilled niche in the Green Lake area--healthy, creative, delicious food presented in a visually-stunning manner. Along the way, the team at Green Lake Renewal helped Peppercorn Catering to continue to refine its vision and define its market.

Today, Peppercorn is one of the area’s most sought-after catering companies, with bookings often extending more than a year in advance. In between jobs, Lynn still makes time at Town Square to teach classes and volunteer for events.

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Wisconsin Hickory Syrup

Mike Starshak

Mike Starshak is creating not only a business, but an entire industry. Through his passion for Wisconsin Hickory, he has created three popular products: Hickory Syrup, Hickory Fudge and Hickory Coffee. And, he has many more products currently in development.

In 2014, Mike helped to found The Wisconsin Hickory Association, a statewide not-for-profit that's drawing attention to this indigenous Wisconsin resource. While his own company is incredibly successful, Mike spends a large portion of his time working to increase understanding and awareness of the Hickory Industry. He is the frequent host of seminars and demonstrations and was featured in an Around the Farm Table segment on Wisconsin Public Television.

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Simple Soul Kitchen

Paul Cummings

Best known locally for his gig as Executive Chef at the popular former Princeton restaurant, Mimi's, Paul knows his way around a kitchen. "I've been in kichens since I was 14, from dishwasher to corporate trainer at Applebees," explains Paul, who holds a degree from the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, and has also worked at Heidel House and Norton's in Green Lake, Gallagher's in Ripon and Stone Cellar Brew Pub in Appleton.

In 2016, Paul decided to strike out on his own, with Green Lake Kitchens as his base of operations. The name of his business--Simple Soul Kitchen--evokes images of earthy, real foods and deep connections formed in eating together. Aimed at smaller, in-home gatherings, Paul's catering business is all about the experience. "I want you to have the experience of a restaurant in your home," he explains.

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Bee Bella

Jon Dudzinski, Scott Haskins, James Wicak

What started out as a beekeeping hobby, and expanded into honey and lip balm in a failed attempt to impress a girl, is now a full-scale manufacturing, distribution and marketing company dedicated to protecting honey bees. It was in 2016 that Bee Bella partners Jon Dudzinski, Scott Haskins, and James Wicak decided to focus on the business of their business. They brought their combination of accounting, finance, engineering, technology and biology experience into Green Lake Kitchens, and within six months, they were manufacturing and packaging lip balms that consistently sell out at stores throughout the Midwest.

By locating its business at Green Lake Kitchens, Bee Bella has been able to avoid significant capital expenses and fixed costs, giving the owners the opportunity to focus on marketing and sales. Bee Bella’s environmentally-friendly mission to help beekeepers, combined with its clever packaging, has helped this become one of the most successful fast-track companies of Green Lake Kitchens. Find them at www.beebella.buzz or by calling 920-355-2899.

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