Apr 30, 2021

Dave and Vicki Flannery Honored as WRA Restaurateurs of the Year

ROY_2021_FlanneryDave and Vicki Flannery, owners and operators of Apple Holler Orchard and Restaurant in Sturtevant, were honored as the Restaurateurs of the Year by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. The Restaurateur of the Year (ROY) award is the industry’s top honor. The Flannerys were announced as the winners in a surprise celebration at Apple Holler on April 26th.

The Restaurateur of the Year award is given to a restaurant operator (or couple) who demonstrates participation and service to the restaurant association, success within their own restaurant and contributions to their community. The winner is selected at a private meeting of past Restaurateur of the Year recipients and is kept a secret until the official announcement.

In 1987, newlyweds Dave and Vicki Flannery bought the abandoned orchard that is part of what is known as Apple Holler. They proceeded to refurbish the old milking barn and transformed it into the cozy red barn restaurant that has been crafting delicious bakery and mouth-watering, down-home cooking ever since. The Flannerys went on to plant thousands of apple, peach and pear trees, as well as a pumpkin patch, turning this working farm into a business that has flourished ever since. 

While growing this small family farm and business, Dave and Vicki also focused on growing their family, raising five children who would all go on to work, play and make many childhood memories at Apple Holler.

Apple Holler has grown and changed throughout the years, with many families and friends creating memories and special moments. Today, you will find a 78-acre orchard with more than 30,000 thriving fruit trees, offering over 40 different varieties of apples, peaches and pears. They host fruit and pumpkin picking, hayrides, school field trips, family farm excursions, holiday parties, fundraisers, horse drawn sleigh rides in the winter, seasonal picnics and mazes - while still serving breakfast, lunch and dinner at the restaurant year round.  

Dave and Vicki have been involved with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association for many years offering their support for the association and the restaurant industry in countless ways. They regularly attend WRA’s Restaurant Advocacy Day every year where they advocate for the restaurant industry by meeting with our state’s leaders at the capitol in Madison. They also traveled to Washington DC five times to attend the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs conference where they discussed critical issues affecting the restaurant industry with our state’s national leaders. Dave Flannery has served on the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Board of Directors since 2002 and led the Board as Chair in 2019. In the Fall of 2019, Dave and Vicki held the Orchard & Farm to Fork Fundraiser at Apple Holler which raised funds for WRA Restaurant Advocacy Fund, the WRA Education Foundation and local charities. Dave was named the Southeast Chapter’s Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year in 2005 having served for many years at the local chapter level. Dave also serves on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association and has volunteered on the audit committee of North Cape Lutheran Church.  

- END -

Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the success of the foodservice and hospitality industry.