Katie and Andy Gill have brought updated family recipes and Austin-inspired food to a new dine-in and carry-out cafe located in the old Door County Brewing Co. space in Baileys Harbor. The cafe and provisions concept is aimed at providing tasty options for busy schedules and for those who are maximizing their time enjoying the outdoors. “With Cave Point, Whitefish Dunes and The Ridges being so close, we want to provide food that you can easily take with you,” said Andy.
The Heirloom Cafe and Provisions’ menu features fresh and nutritious breakfast and lunch items with rotating specials featuring available produce from local farms and vendors. Customers can enjoy a meal in the spacious dining area or order items to go and from the deli case. Isely coffee, various cold beverages, beer and wine are also available.
Breakfast specials during the mid-August soft opening included two taco options: vegan migas and bacon potato; an egg sandwich with mushroom, herb and sweet pepper; and a grain bowl with quinoa, miso veggies, sausage patties, basil, mint, jalapeño and a soft boil egg. For lunch, the soup special was a Thai carrot soup with spiced cashews and parsley drizzle, and the sandwich special was a Johnee Salami sandwich with mozzarella, grilled zucchini, tomato, salami, artichoke, giardiniera and arugula.
The idea for the cafe was cultivated through Katie and Andy’s search for a place to put down roots. The couple most recently resided in Austin, Texas where Katie was a private chef and Andy worked as an executive director at a park conservancy. Being Wisconsinites at heart, they eventually felt the draw to move back to their home state.
First looking in Madison and Milwaukee, Door County didn’t register on the radar until visiting and learning of the available space from brewery owner John McMahon. “John has been very supportive and it has been a nice partnership to tie into. We really have felt welcomed by the community and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but Baileys,” said Andy. Katie’s family also has owned property in Door County since her childhood, which helped to ease the idea into fruition.
Eager to get my first sampling of the menu, I chose a cup of the Thai carrot soup special and half of a beet horseradish sandwich that Katie mentioned was one of her favorite menu items. Delivered on a metal tray with a pickle and side fruit salad, it felt as though I was eating at a posh cafeteria housed in a modern farmhouse.
After feasting my eyes on the colorful spread in front of me, I tested the soup first. It was silky in texture and the Thai spices were just enough to still allow the fresh carrot flavor to shine. Spiced cashews added a nice bit of crunch every now and then and the parsley drizzle enhanced the aromatics. The beet sandwich wound up also being my favorite – with each bite I received a fresh crunch of veggies blended with earthy, sweet beet plus a zing of horseradish to grab the attention of any distracted taste buds.
Katie attended culinary school in Chicago, and has also spent time in the industry in Milwaukee and Austin with a recent focus on providing vegan and gluten-free options. The fast pace and late nights did not appeal to her long term, which bred the idea of owning and operating something of her own. “This has always been her dream,” said Andy. “Whenever we travel, the food experiences are the highlight and Katie has been gathering inspiration from each place we go.”
The menu reflects that with breakfast tacos being a daily special after falling in love with the morning staple in Austin. “We’ve really put a lot of our personalities into the space and the menu. We didn’t want to open until we had something that we could really be proud of,” said Andy. “Now we get to see what works and tailor it to fit the community.”
The current plan is to operate regular weekly hours from Wednesday through Sunday from 8 am to 2:30 pm for the fall and winter, and learn what is working and where to improve. Looking ahead, they have dreams of expanding the menu and eventually hosting specialty dinners and offering an expanded list of wines. You can find Heirloom Cafe and Provisions at 2434 Cty F, Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin.