Gold Discovered in Door County, Locals Gain Tips for Mining #SMBDC Nov 20

“Writing is like mining for gold hidden in the hillsides of your mind.” – David Baboulene

Most fans already know the story of their favorite “local and natural” brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Kashi, Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees. But not many fans are likely to know that these successful businesses have been bought by major corporations like Unilevel, Kellogg’s, Colgate-Palmolive and Clorox. In the case of Wisconsin’s own Alterra Coffee the founders simply sold their “story” to the beverage division of Mars, Inc., a corporate giant with $33 billion in annual sales and 72,000 employees.

“Fundamentally, we sold the seven letters that make up the name Alterra,” says co-owner Lincoln Fowler.

Rick Romell of the Journal Sentinel reports:

But in buying the Alterra name, Mars can say, as it does on its Website, that its coffee was born in Milwaukee in 1993 when three friends, “working nights while keeping their daytime businesses afloat,” needed a strong brew. “In order to get it,” the Website declares, next to a thumbnail photo of the popular and historic lakefront cafe Fowler and his partners opened in 2002, “they decided that they had to roast their own — and ALTERRA™ was born!”

That’s the sort of yarn you can’t simply invent and feed to consumers.


Judging by their success, Door County is a goldmine of business stories waiting to be dug up and sold…

Have you ever considered the value of your own business story? Trader Joe’s started out as a small chain of convenience stores back in the 1950’s. Nowadays, if you visit any of their stores or their Website, that story is displayed prominently in wall murals and as a timeline tale that celebrates their heritage.  

On Wednesday, November 20 at Greens N Grains Cafe in Egg Harbor, the next Social Media Breakfast in Door County (SMBDC) will focus on ” Discovering and Telling Your Authentic Story… with more than words.”

Local is the watchword here in Door County. With the exception of gas stations and hardware stores, we present a very low national corporate affiliation, one that vanishes for the most part, north of Sturgeon Bay. That means that almost every business in Door County has a rich tale to tell. These stories are what make us unique and distinctive. They are the reason people from urban areas flock to visit here and partake in that local color.

Business Management Consultant Myrna Cohn spent more than 3 decades advising major corporate clients on marketing tactics and strategies. Several years ago, she retired from her career in Chicago to a more relaxed agenda in Baileys Harbor where she paints and teaches memoir writing.

“Each and every successful business has a rich and engaging story to tell.” Explains Myrna. “With the shift toward a social interactive landscape, advertising now becomes all about sharing that warm and friendly personal identity. What better way than to tell the story of how you got here?”

Myrna Cohn will provide a set of guidelines on how to begin shaping and creating the story of your business. I will join her in explaining how to use five different types of graphic media to add color to your narrative.

We’ll meet upstairs in the loft above the Greens N Grains Cafe from 9 – 10:30 am. Bring along your laptops or wireless devices and tap into free Wifi to share and comment online. Slides and Website examples will also be projected on a large backdrop screen.

Greens N Grains Cafe has a full service coffee bar and owner Kathy Navis says there will be a batch of fresh organic and natural bakery that may purchased downstairs and brought up to the 2nd floor loft

Door County’s monthly Social Media Breakfasts take place at different locations around the Peninsula on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9 – 10:30 am. The events are free and reservations are not necessary. You can email or call 920.256.9449 with questions on SMBDC. More information is available online at and at

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