Five Native-owned businesses across Wisconsin

By Hannah Ritvo

A picture of Copper Crow Barrels.
Nearly 100 bourbon filled barrels line Copper Cow’s shelves as it it ages. This batch has been sitting since Sept. 11, 2021, noting a reminder of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 for when the batch was made. Photo by Claire Biegalski.

Wisconsin is home to 11 federally recognized Native American tribes and the Brothertown Indian Nation, each with its own unique history, culture, traditions and food. These nations have persevered through generations of social, political and environmental challenges. From delicious homegrown coffee to breathtaking kayaking experiences, these Native-owned businesses and attractions fuse traditions with innovation and reflect a deep connection to land, culture and community.

“Boozhoo” means “hello” in the Ojibwe language. The creator of the Native-owned coffee company, Curtis DeCora, wished to use the language and culture of the Ojibwe people to create Boozhoo, which delivers premium roasted coffee beans to your front door within days. Located on the reservation of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin, Boozhoo sells premium beans with a different blend for everyone, including “Niijii,” which is Ojibwe for “friend,” the “Pow Wow Blend” and the “Warrior Blend.”

With stunning caves, red sandstone cliffs and beautiful beaches, at Rustic Makwa Den, you can kayak along the shores of the Red Cliff Reservation and experience the thrilling natural beauty of Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin. Rustic Makwa Den is the perfect place to get that outdoor fix.

Pick your own apples in 40 acres of paradise at the Oneida Apple Orchard in Oneida, near Green Bay. The Native-owned orchard aims to generate community interest in agriculture and instill the importance of growing healthy food among younger generations. The orchard sells seasonal strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, sweetcorn, squash and pumpkins.

The first independent Native American-owned hemp farm and CBD retailer in Wisconsin honors their roots and respects their ancestors while growing high-quality, holistic healing products. Canndigenous is spearheaded by Rob Pero, a member of the Bad River Tribe who grows natural wellness alternatives in Cambridge, east of Madison, for Wisconsinites all over the state.  

The first Indigenous-owned distillery in North America blends tradition and innovation to create its scrumptious spirits. Created by Curt and Linda Basina, members of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and located in the Lake Superior communities of Bayfield and Red Cliff, Copper Crow Distillery calls itself “a haven of flavor where spirits take center stage.” With a vibrant atmosphere, friendly staff and its proximity to breathtaking views of Lake Superior, the distillery is the perfect place to spend an evening with friends or family. (Read more about Copper Crow Distillery in our story Sip on Sustainability.)