We took a look back at what was a fantastic year here at Cherry Republic. We had so much fun and accomplished so much, we just had to make a top eleven list of some of our favorite events and accomplishments of 2015.
New labels and Packaging – Over the course of a 5 months, we’ve updated much of the packaging of our your favorite products. This 2 year project brings a new look that better fits the earthy, trendy and colorful company we’ve become.
Summer Shear Storm – Ugh. Ugh. Devastating. The storm came across Lake Michigan like some dark wizard riding a monster cloud. In just 5 minutes tens of thousands of our mature trees lay in a state that was as awful to the heart as a civil war battlefield. We mourned. And then we went to work and Glen Arbor’s goal is to turn this tragedy into something positive for 2016.
Andrew’s Pacific Crest Trail Hike – Cousin Andrew takes a leave of absence from his social media and photography tasks at Cherry Republic to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Within a month this sharply dressed and civilized man turned into a gaunt, bearded and blistered wild man. But he made it. And we were there to welcome him. But did he come back? Ugh! He is now working for the Harry and David– the competition! (his new alias – CR007.)
A New Baker – We’ve lost a few players like Andrew, but we’ve also gained a few terrific and talented new ones like Rick Burbee, our Director of Marketing, or Ryan Vigenski, our Materials Manager. But our biggest new hire might be Sarah Budzik, our new corporate baker. In just a few months she has completely charged her staff and everyone at Cherry Republic. Expect her to charge up all the customers in 2016.
Traverse City Renovation – After 5 years of planning and many false starts, we finally completed a huge expansion and overhaul of our Traverse City storefront. It has now become an equal to our flagship store in Glen Arbor. (psst. This summer, we will share with visitors detailed three year plans to expand and overhaul Glen Arbor to top Traverse City! Let the competition between the towns begin!)
Cherry Tours and Cherry Stompers – We bought a bus and named it Big Red. Then we loaded the old school bus up with kids and customers and took them out to see the sights and sounds of cherries. And we staff had more fun than anyone. Next year will be bigger and better. Dare I say that we might do some ghost tours in August…. And maybe a tour and hike to dinner….
Crowdrise/31 Days of Giving – Cherry Republic had its third annual 31 Days of Giving. Each day in December 2015 we donated to various organizations that did great things to preserve and protect our quality of life here in Michigan.
Hide and Seek Delivery – So, we had this silly idea of delivering products from our warehouse in Empire to our store in Glen Arbor and if any of our customers caught us, they could get one of our delicious cherry products. And we deliverers had to hike or bike or sail or paddle. It was a huge hit. Customers and Cherry Stompers caught many of us and intercepted lots of booty.
Harvest Dinner – Here are a few photos of the Port Oneida Historic Dinner. It was the first time Cherry Republic has ever dressed up our little cafe and winery and did a fundraiser like this. The dinner sold out and it was a nice balance of locals and long time customers and visitors.
Nixing Chicago – Secretly, we had been planning for a store in Chicago’s Loop. We hoped to have it opened by October of this past year. At the last second, we shot it down. We owe it to this great state of Michigan who has grown us and created us to put Cherry Republic stores in key Michigan towns that might benefit by our presence. Detroit? Holland?
Cherry and Bright Holiday Season – Cherry Republic just celebrated the busiest and smoothest Holiday Season we have ever hat. It will go down in the history books as the cherriest and brightest and we thank each and every one of you customers for helping to make it such a successful Holiday for us.
Cherry Fig Jam – Cherry Republic is a foodie loving food company and there better be a new cherry product in our top ten list. And here it is– 2015’s new product of the year– Cherry Fig Jam. It is a terrific sweet and savory jam created by our in house expert Culinary Institute of America grown corporate chef Tony Finnestad. A grilled cheese will never be boring again.
Leaf Day – Ok, we have our very own special Cherry Republic holiday on the second Monday of October. It’s to celebrate Leaf (their colors) and Leif (the real discoverer of America). It’s also to celebrate the last good weather before winter. For the second year in a row, all of our employees received Leaf day off. We hope in the years to come that it spreads to other companies and maybe to you readers, but right now, it seems to be ours, and we are very proud of it.