We have a saying in the Republic that cherries don’t grow in ugly places, and the same can be said for the hometowns of our six Cherry Republic retail stores. And among the prettiest is Charlevoix — better known as Charlevoix the Beautiful.
This idyllic town, nestled between the shores of Lake Michigan, Round Lake, and Lake Charlevoix, is home to the iconic South Pier Lighthouse, Earl Young’s quirky Mushroom Houses (a/k/a Hobbit Homes), and a charming downtown full of unique boutiques and restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts will find some of the best hiking and biking trails in Northern Michigan.
We caught up with Cherry Republic Charlevoix Store Manager, Brandy Okerblom, and Assistant Manager, Todd Gyulveszi, to find out how the summer is going and what they love most about Charlevoix.
Q: How long have you worked at Cherry Republic and what’s your favorite product?
Brandy: I started at Cherry Republic 4 years ago, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Turtles are my favorite product! They are the perfect combination of rich dark chocolate, nuts, caramel and cherries!
Todd: I’ve been with CR 8 years, and Cherry Bob’s Cherry Bomb Hot Sauce is my favorite. I love hot sauces and this product is fabulous!
Q: How has Cherry Republic’s summer season been?
Brandy: Summer has been great! It’s so nice to see our summer residents, favorite locals, and welcome new customers who have never been to Charlevoix before.
Todd: Summer has been strong. I think more people are making Charlevoix a summer destination.
Q: What do you love to do in the Charlevoix area when you’re not at Cherry Republic?
Brandy: Petoskey stone hunting at Antrim Creek Natural Area and Whiskey Creek.
Todd: Mountain biking and hiking. Glacial Hills in Bellaire, Boyne City Forest, and the Little Traverse Wheelway from Charlvoix to Petoskey. Avalanche Bay in Boyne City has amazing views of Lake Charlevoix, too.
Q: What’s one of your favorite businesses/restaurants in Charlevoix?
Brandy: The Salad Fork, our neighbor in the alley! They make amazing, fresh salads, avocado toast, and acai berry bowls. They also use Cherry Republic Cherry Jam in their Belvedere Panini, and it is so delicious!
Todd: Harwood Gold and American Spoon. I am a foodie and they both make great products.
Q: What are you looking forward to this fall at the Charlevoix store?
Brandy: Fall is my favorite season, so I always look forward to the change of weather and decorations. I love Charlevoix Apple Festival, which is our last big event for the season. I also look forward to our company Leaf Day!
Todd: Harvest Boomchunkas and the upcoming release of our Organic Cherry Apple Butter.