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Meet Brick House Mercantile

A local family owned business. 

Founded in 2019 by Joseph and Penny Bahr, Brick House Mercantile is rooted in a field to fork philosophy with a focus on bringing hand crafted, unique artisan food and culinary products to the Lake Country. In 2020, Chef Jeremy Bahr joined the family team and in 2021, the bricks and mortar Mercantile and Artisan Kitchen opened its doors in Dousman, Wisconsin.

Brick House Mercantile is a mercantile space with a farm to table kitchen - the Artisan Kitchen - crafting scratch food in small batches using seasonal ingredients. We source fresh and close to the earth ingredients from local farms and orchards, we forage for and grow some of our own ingredients, and incorporate our own artisan products, as well as others, into our globally influenced weekly and monthly menus. The Artisan Kitchen rarely repeats – and is known for its spontaneity! Unique and complex flavors. Impeccable service. Warm Hospitality. Brick House Mercantile: it’s where we hope you feel like you’re one of the family.

The Bahr Family - Brick House Mercantile  &  Artisan Kitchen

Eat well. Be well.

Residents of Oconomowoc, the Bahrs knew in 2014 they were going to start a business, they just weren't sure what that meant quite yet. After a long career in corporate America, Joe, a soulful artist - a painter by training - and a darn good "home cook", baker, and preserver - decided it was time to love what you do and do what you love! The vision was to bring unique handcrafted food products to Lake Country based on locally available ingredients! 

The Bahrs have always focused on healthy eating - choosing whole foods and original methods of preparation. They ditched their microwave in 2013 and started "cooking" and "preserving" - and haven't looked back since, although it does mean more dishes! Real food - no chemicals, no preservatives - it matters. 

It is imperative to know where your food comes from. Hand harvesting non sprayed fruit; cultivating a garden of winter sustenance; working with local farms for the freshest meat, eggs. and produce; partnering with orchards for unique and organic fruit; choosing biodynamic wine or enjoying a vibrant non alcoholic cocktail - this is the vision of Brick House Mercantile - because it is how we live.


We can't say it better than Virginia Woolf...“one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”. We agree! Eating well means feeding the soul, calming the mind, enjoying the present with the people you are with, and eating the best local food you can find. 


Eat Well. Be Well.  

-The Bahr's



Joe & Penny Bahr - Owners of Brick House Mercantile  &  Artisan Kitchen

"People eat with their eyes first - food needs to be
beautiful and gratifyingly delicious”

Chef Jeremy Bahr - Brick House Mercantile  &  Artisan Kitchen

Chef Jeremy Bahr has been intrigued by the kitchen since the early age of 12 – and his culinary curiosity has never waned. His philosophy has always been that being a chef is more than cooking – rather, it is an ancient craft that is artisan in nature and based entirely on what ingredients are available to work with – fresh from the garden, the forest, and the field. Chef Bahr spent several years in the Lake Country area honing his skills and training with other great culinary talent in local restaurants, including the Golden Mast and the Irish Pub, and he also was pivotal in opening Burke’s Lakeside. In 2015 he became the Chef de Cuisine at the Wickman House - a hyper-local restaurant in Ellison Bay, Door County, and a recent nominee for the James Beard Award – until joining his family in a new culinary adventure in 2020. 


Chef Bahr’s 18+ years of culinary artistry is the foundation of Brick House Mercantile's vision of creating a food experience like none other. He is often heard saying, "People eat with their eyes first - food needs to be beautiful and gratifyingly delicious”. Respect for local ingredients is a must for Chef Bahr, "if it grows in the wild and it's usable in any form, it should be foraged and incorporated into the food we eat." 


Bahr – a culinary artist - continually challenges himself in the culinary space to go where others fear to go – and is committed to a food art experience rooted in originality, complex yet refined flavors, and impeccable presentation. The result is a savory, enhancing experience that will leave you asking for more.


Today, the Brick House Mercantile Artisan Kitchen maintains a field-to-fork philosophy focused on crafting scratch food that is unique, seasonal, and creative and works closely with local farms, foragers, orchards, and its own garden, to purvey the freshest, local ingredients possible.

Brick House Oconomowoc, WI.
Bahr Family on Home Porch - Brick House Mercantile  &  Artisan Kitchen


What's in a Name?

Customers often ask us why we chose the name “Brick House Mercantile.”  As a family, living a simple life, growing and preserving our own food as much as possible, and cooking from scratch have always been important to us - and we’ve always loved preparing food for and hosting family and friends. Our 1848 cream city brick farmhouse is the inspiration for the name - and Mercantile is an old word meaning “trade or business” and was often used as a noun to refer to a general store. Our vision includes giving people a single stop to experience a variety of never-mainstream fresh, baked, and preserved items – made from scratch, almost exclusively in-house. When you are “in the Mercantile” and enjoying the Artisan Kitchen– we want you to feel like a guest in our home.


Google Reviewer S.C. 

An incredibly special experience! This was a perfect venue for a private, celebratory dinner with close friends. Chef Jeremy’s late winter menu was amazing. Joe and Penny were gracious and wonderful hosts, and Joe’s chocolate tart to finish the evening left everyone talking. We would highly recommend Brick House Mercantile for a casual visit or a special occasion dinner! 

Google  Reviewer Jody P. 

BHM is amazing. You walk in and are immediately treated like a friend. The food is honestly the best in Lake Country. I could live on their pasta bowls and dinner for two meals. Thank you, Joe, Penny & Jeremy! 

Google Reviewer Carol C. 

Wonderful, delicious food! Locally sourced, clean, and healthy eating that tastes amazing! Something for everyone to go or eat in. Cozy, friendly place with great unique menus, an amazing bakery, and always something new. Homemade soups are so good! Saturday breakfast is a must!

Grungy Wooden Surface

In The Media

Brian Kramp FOX6 WakeUp News 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

CBS 58 ~ Natalie Shepherd

One of the perks of the job— trying tasty treats. Don’t miss the Brick House Mercantile when you’re in Dousman.

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