/ Business of the Month / Hillbilly Hollow
Business of the Month:
(image: Hillbilly Hollow Owner Kathy Martin with VCEDC Executive Director Kathy Schmitz)
708 E. Wall Street
Eagle River, WI 54521
Phone: (715) 477-2771
We are pleased to have had the opportunity recently to interview Kathy Martin, Owner of Hillbilly Hollow to learn about the history and mission of this amazing store offering farmstead culinary delights and products.
What is the Mission of Hillbilly Hollow?
The mission of Hillbilly Hollow is to support farmers, growers, and producers in an effort to support the local economy. The store was opened to give local food producers a place to sell their products in a more sustainable, year-round way to help them to be able to generate income more than the 20 weeks a year that the farmers markets operate.
You have a unique name for your business, where did it come from?
The name of the business came about purely by chance. My parents were here for a visit and got lost trying to find our house so they knocked on someone's door to ask where we live and because we were new to the area, they didn't know our name yet. My mother being my mother then proceeded to tell them that we had animals and a big garden and all that we were doing, and they then they said ‘Oh the hillbillies’ and sent my parents on to our home which is located kind of in a hollow so the name was chosen.
How many employees do you have?
Hillbilly Hollow is a family-owned and staffed business. The kitchen is run by my daughter, Hannah, and her husband Alex. These two are responsible for all of the food production at Hillbilly Hollow. When you come into our store anything that says Hillbilly Hollow on it is produced in-house by them. They are really good at what they do and a mother couldn't be prouder of them. Hannah and Alex attended culinary school at Fox Valley Tech in Appleton and came back to help run the business at about the same time my husband, Hannah's father passed away. With their return to the area, they have expanded and grown the business with their skills and have brought a variety of culinary delights that are not easily found in this area.
Do you have plans to grow your business?
The business continues to grow and expand, sometimes in unexpected ways. My Grandma always told me the only constant in life is change and it is so true. Hillbilly Hollow started with just locally produced items which has expanded within the state of Wisconsin, then expended again to artisan and hard to find products. We then opened a kitchen for take and go food, and just recently we brought some tables to the store to sit and enjoy your food. You never know what will be next as the only constant is change.
How do you give back to the community?
The local community has supported us in so many ways and we try to return that support to the community. We have done fundraisers for Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK), Vilas food pantry, Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing (NATH), to name a few, as well as donated gift certificates and products to many organizations in the area.
Thank you, Hillbilly Hollow and Congratulations!
Do you have a Vilas County business that you would like to nominate for a Business of the Month award? Contact Vilas County Executive Director Kathy Schmitz at [email protected]
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Among being a stellar lodge, restaurant, and destination of choice for tourists and area residents, we congratulate Debby and Dan Johns and all of their staff for their generosity and commitment to Vilas County to ensure our history and culture live on for future generations.
Congratulations to Eagle River's Last Resort for 38 years in business providing great customer service and experiences to Eagle River visitors, and providing a positive influence on the Eagle River community.
In 2016, April graduated from a business startup course, now called Nicolet Entrepreneur Training (NET) program, offered through a partnership with the VCEDC and Nicolet College. "With ongoing support from the VCEDC, including rental space within the Eagle River Business Incubator, I was able to develop and implement my business plan, founding Starlight in 2016," said April.
We can email you a PDF highlighting many of the wonderful aspects of our area.