Growing up as the child of a restaurateur, Tarra Hurlburt developed a passion for connecting with people over food early on. It wasn’t a surprise, then, when she decided to start her own restaurant and found the perfect location in a historic building in downtown Port Hope.
Tarra and her husband John had been looking to permanently move to Port Hope for years. When the former restaurant location presented itself, they quickly decided that it was meant to be. With the help of Michigan SBDC Senior Consultant Shannon Schwabe to create their plan and prepare projections, they were able to obtain funding from Northern Initiatives to finance the buildout. They completed much of the work themselves, trying to preserve the integrity of previous space and bring back some of Port Hope’s history.
Since opening in 2022, Buck’s Port Hope Diner has served hundreds of people who come to dine from all across the Thumb. Other businesses in the area are noticing the traffic pattern shift that the new restaurant brings. Currently home to 10 employees, Tarra and John already have expanded their hours, and the demand for Tarra’s homemade fresh food continues. The Hulburts have established roots in the community and continue to carry on Tarra’s family’s legacy.