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Friendly Folk

We love making people happy
Our Humble Beginnings

Our executive chef, Natalie spent the summers of her childhood in Frankfort. Her father taught her to sail on Crystal Lake. Her career in culinary arts took her to the Rocky Mountains, where she met Nick. Together, they opened restaurants and continued to hone their craft. Their dream was to have a restaurant of their own, and Birch & Maple is the realization of that dream. Nick and Natalie are thrilled to be part of the community and passionate about Frankfort growing as a culinary destination in Northwest Michigan.

Natalie Niederhofer

Chef · Owner · Michigan Gravy Advocate · Cat Behavior Enthusiast

Some of Natalie’s favorite childhood memories are helping her Grandma Ruth cook dinner (instead of doing homework). Grandma Ruth was the best cook and little did Natalie know at the time, a great teacher. Her pantry was full of fresh vegetables from the garden where nothing went to waste. She loved preparing meals for the entire family in a cozy, loving environment. Natalie works hard to recreate that same experience at Birch & Maple. Natalie is a graduate of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City, MI.

Nick Crawford

GM · Owner · Master Schmoozer

After growing up in the midwest, Nick moved to the mountains to follow his love for the outdoors and the hospitality industry. Nick welcomes every guest into Birch & Maple as if it is his own home.

Bria McCurdy

Sous Chef · Beard Enthusiast · Professional Pickler

A graduate of Colorado State and CIA, her passion lays in farm to table cuisine and developing relationships with local farms.

Heather Lenhard

Assistant Manager · Make up Artist · Horse Whisperer

You can refer to Heather as “Mer” short for mermaid as you could never get her out of the water as a child. Heather’s enthusiasm for good food and good drinks shows every time she is on the floor.

Lee Hill

Sous Chef · Steel Cowboy · Tong Twirler

Robert Lee Hill III, aka Bobby, aka Lee, has traveled near and far. His constant search for good food and good people has brought him to northern Michigan.