A slice of Door County, nestled in Green Bay

Food writer Josh Koerner reflects on the familial enjoyment of the fall season and how The Apple Store ties it all together

By Josh Koerner

The Apple Store (1502 W Mason St) is a one stop shop for all things Door County apples. John McCracken photo

Autumn approaches. A chill slips into the wind and roadsides become warm mosaics. Pumpkin spice memes litter social media feeds like a yard full of dead leaves. Maybe I’m just old fashioned or geographically privileged, but I have always heralded apple cider as fall’s superior flavor to the abundance of spices found this time of year.

Finding my own orchard 

Growing up, my family would always pop up to the Door Peninsula to stock up on fall staples and other goodies. The orchard we visited back then allowed you to pick your own apples. After the work was done and we were all chilled to our bones, we would return to the small shack for our reward: hot cider and an apple fritter fresh from a Nesco. 

Something about warming up with that cup of sweet cider cemented itself in me. Just a sip of warm cider can make anywhere feel like home.

When I moved back to Green Bay a few years ago, the orchard from my childhood was long gone. We made a number of trips up north trying to nail down a new go-to orchard and eventually agreed upon the Wood Orchard Market. Sitting just on the other side of Egg Harbor, Wood’s was made extra convenient for us due to their proximity to local wine, cheese and coffee.

As our visits become more frequent, we only find more to love. Things like their bacon jam and bourbon mustard now are regular staples on our charcuterie boards. The fruit salsas it offers are wonderful compliments to carnitas and layer dips alike. While its Amish peanut butter may make for an odd PB&J, it can turn any cereal into a fantastic dessert bar. Whatever ends up in your cart, don’t forget that delicious cider or the doubly delicious cider donuts.

The Door County market traces origins back to the mid-1950s. It was originally opened as an outlet for the Wood Family Orchard to market honeycrisp apples as they began to rise to popularity. Current owner Steve Wood continues his father’s legacy and keeps a healthy honeycrisp crop along with his personal favorites, the sweet tango.

A backyard bounty

For those looking to enjoy the bounty of Door County but stay in the Bay, The Apple Store gives plenty of options. Josh Koerner photo

The system worked well right up until 2020 threw a spanner in the works. Concerned with safety and weighed down by social responsibility, my family opted not to visit Door County that year. As the season marched ever forward, the apple itch burned furiously. I yearned for the years when cherry horseradish and raspberry salsa were at my beck and call. I missed that orchard-fresh cider.

Eventually, my apple desires led me to Green Bay’s own The Apple Store (1502 W Mason St). This store is nestled between auto-shops on West Mason, and in all honesty, I’ve been overlooking the quiet, unassuming shop my whole life. When I stepped into the cramped foyer I was greeted with an extensive collection of Wood Orchard Market jams. It didn’t stop there: inside, I found many of my favorite Wood Orchard snacks, sauces, dressings, and most importantly, cider.

It turns out there was a little slice of the peninsula right here in our back yard this whole time.

Josh Koerner grew up in De Pere and has a passion for local food. He’s written for The NEWcomer and Nosh Green Bay alongside his personal Facebook food blog, Josh Eats Green Bay.

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