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oN your PLatE By Patty WiLLiamsoN, Ph.d. PhotoGraPhy By PiNG Wu


Raclette and Peppadews


and Prosciutto, Oh My! Not your mother’s corner deli


o, Top Shelf Café and Gourmet is not your moth- er’s corner deli…unless your mother was in the habit of running to the corner


to pick up a tin of black truffl e butter, some Korean ginger scallion marinade or a bit of Purple Haze goat cheese with lav- ender and fennel.


T e shop somehow manages to fi t an


incredible number of items into a rela- tively small space without seeming to be overcrowded. Co-owner John Seiberlich estimates that he stocks about 500 kinds of wine and spirits and between 1,000 and 1,500 other bits of gourmet fare, in- cluding more than 110 kinds of cheese from Ireland, France, Canada, Germany,


64 Door County Living Winter 2011/2012


England, Denmark, Australia, Switzer- land, Norway, Spain and Greece…and, of course, Wisconsin and the rest of the U.S.


Most popular, John says, are the Cots-


wold cheddar with chive and green on- ion and Pleasant Ridge Reserve from the Uplands Dairy near Madison, where the cheese maker’s wife is a Door County girl. And, if customers don’t fi nd their favorite among the 110 varieties on hand, it can be ordered. Top Shelf also off ers its wares via the internet. “We recently shipped eight cones of sapsago cheese to a woman in California who was delighted to discover it on our web- site,” John says.


He and his sister, Annie Alberts,


opened Top Shelf in April 2003 at the Country Walk Shops in Sister Bay. T ey took the space, which had been Manz’ Specialty Foods (on the corner High- way 42 and Country Walk Drive), and installed all new fi xtures, furniture and shelving. “We were thinking outside the box,” John says. He credits his wife, Kathleen, with naming the business. “She felt that Top Shelf implied a better- than-average product,” he says. It would appear she captured its essence.


“We wanted to off er a concentrated


source of fi ne foods not readily available elsewhere in the county,” says John. T ey still stock a number of items the previous owners carried but have greatly expanded


doorcountyliving.com


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