Seaquist Orchards in Northern Door County was selected as the Door County Economic Development Corporation’s entrepreneur of the year.
Seaquist Orchards is owned by Dale and Kristin Seaquist and Jim and Robin Seaquist, who represent the fourth and fifth generations involved in a company whose roots in Door County go back to the early 1860s. The diverse family businesses encompass farming, value-added food production and retail and gross revenues for their combined companies are more than $5 million.
Seaquist Orchards LLC farms more than 1,000 acres from Gills Rock to south of Sturgeon Bay and now produces over 50 percent of Wisconsin’s cherries.
Seaquist Orchards Processing Inc. processes about 75 percent of Door County’s red tart cherries, pitting more than100 million pounds since it began in 1982. Seaquist Orchards Farm Market, LLC has seen remarkable growth since opening in 1987 and is now recognized as one of Door County’s favorite destinations, selling fresh fruit as well as a wide array of specialty Door County products including homemade pies and breads from an in-store bakery. Dixie’s Homestyle Preserves, LLC was purchased in late 2010 and will complement the current line of Door County fruit products, as well as providing valuable off-season employment.
During the peak summer season the company employs over 100 people, and maintains 10 year round employees. Cherry production has increased from about 500,000 pounds a year in 1982 to 5.5 million pounds in 2009.
Economic development in Door County is featured in the June issue of Insight, which will be out to subscribers next week.