Cherry Republic closed out the decade with a bang, packing 2019’s calendar with everything from new product rollouts and building projects to fun customer events, a spiffy new website, and much more. Check out some of the highlights and prepare yourself for an exciting 2020!
10. Traveling Test Kitchen
Last spring we packed up our first ever Traveling Test Kitchen and hit the road, visiting all six of our stores during March and April. Citizens had the chance to taste-test several new products and give us feedback on which ones were their favorites. The big winner? Our new Public House Snack Mix!
9. New Product Intros
The popular new Public House Snack Mix wasn’t the only new cherry product to make the scene in 2019. In fact, last year might have been a record in terms of how many new products we introduced—over 20! A few of the highlights included our Cherry Sparkling Water, Green Dragon Snack Mix, One Big Cluster, Loaded Lug Premium Hard Cider, Cherry Adore Wine, and our festive green and red Snack Stacks.
8. Introduced a New Cherry to the Republic
We added a new tart cherry variety to our repertoire for the first time since the Balaton joined ranks with the world-famous Michigan Montmorency a few years ago. Our newest preserves celebrated the oversized, dark, juicy goodness of the Danube cherry. Originating from Hungary and grown locally at the Kalchik Farm, these sweet-tart flavored cherries were crafted into a limited run of Danube Big Cherry Preserves.
7. Premium Packaging
The Snack Stacks were just one of two clever (and attractive!) new collectible tins we introduced last year. Our new Gift Totes featured a beautiful tin outfitted with handles for easy carrying and gifting. The same fresh design festooned our new Signature Gift Boxes. No wrapping required with these unique gifts!
6. Cherry Republic Delivery Truck Wrap
Our boxes and tins weren’t the only things to get a dramatic new look to close out the decade. Our iconic Cherry Republic delivery truck could be seen on highways and county roads throughout Michigan sporting the familiar, friendly, and furry face of Boomer Bear. Here’s to Life, Liberty, Beaches & Pie!
5. Retail Remodeling
A few of our stores enjoyed a facelift in 2019, including Glen Arbor‘s Great Hall, which now sparkles with new lighting, paint and flooring, and Frankenmuth‘s expanded Wine Bar. In Ann Arbor we got started on Phase I of what will be a more comprehensive remodeling project in 2020.
4. Website Upgrades
Speaking of facelifts, our CherryRepublic.com website received that and more last year. Not only did we enhance the look of it with more product photos, but more importantly we dramatically improved the functionality of the site. Online shoppers can now enjoy faster load speeds, a much-improved mobile shopping experience, and a smoother checkout.
3. Award-Winning Wines
For the first time, we decided to throw our hat in the ring at the annual Michigan Wine Competition. We submitted three wines, and we’re proud to say all three received medals! Our summer seasonal Sunset Blush won gold, while our Balaton Cherry Wine and Conservancy Wine were awarded Silver medals. Cheers!
2. Glen Arbor Wine Trail
We were pleased as punch (or should we say cherry wine?) to join the smallest wine trail in Michigan last year. The Glen Arbor Wine Trail includes just three stops: the Glen Arbor Wines, the M22 Tasting Room, and the Cherry Republic Winery. Good things always come in threes!
1. DFC Expansion (a/k/a Roni Gets An Office!)
We’ve long known that our Distribution & Fulfilment Center in Empire was sorely in need of an overhaul. So last year we were thrilled to finally bring our plans to fruition. With construction work wrapping up just in time for our busy holiday season, the hard-working employees at the DFC were treated to a new loading dock, an updated kitchen and breakroom, expanded packing areas, and more light throughout the building. But perhaps our most gratifying achievement? We were able to move Roni Hazelton, Senior VP of Fulfilment and Cherry Republic’s longest employee, from her crampled, windowless office to a corner office with a view! Here’s to letting the light in during 2020!