Cherry Republic is a treasure of the Northern Michigan food industry. For decades, residents and tourists have marveled at the store’s mind-boggling selections of cherry products. From jams to summer sausage, Cherry Republic has almost every delicacy you can imagine. The crisp taste of the company’s treats is sourced directly from a cerise paradise—Glen Arbor, home to a haven of nearly two million cherry trees. Fresh cherries are harvested here every summer and transformed into the company’s delectable creations.
If you’ve ever been curious about the process, you can now see it in action. This summer, Cherry Republic is hosting a series of July tours. Registered participants from Glen Arbor and Traverse City will have the chance to witness Cherry Republic’s production process during peak cherry harvest season.
The tours encompass Cherry Republic’s entire creation process, from the first plucking to the final preparation. First stop: the company’s Cherry Factory, where all the magic happens. At the factory, customers observe the production process and learn how Cherry Republic’s famed Original Cherry Salsa is made. Then, at Triple D Orchards, farmers harvest new cherries and introduce visitors to all their different varieties, including Montmorency, Balaton, and Napoleon. Following, a visit to a processing plant details how the brand-new cherries are washed, pitted, and prepared for production. Additional stops exclusive to the Traverse City tour include an excursion to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and lunch with Bob Sutherland, founder and president of Cherry Republic.
Cherry Republic’s summer tours are an essential part of any cherry enthusiast’s Northern Michigan vacation. Bob Sutherland attributed their popularity to a generational shift in consumer interaction. “We have a feeling that today’s visitors are seeking more—they want to do activities and make connections and know a company before they buy from it.” With these tours, Sutherland hopes to further attract Michigan customers to that most savory of fruits: the cherry.
The Glen Arbor tours run every Thursday in July from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, and again from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $25 apiece. Children 12 and under are admitted for free, but still have to register.
The Traverse City tours run every Tuesday in July from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Tickets cost $55 for those ages 12 and up and $30 for 4 to 12 year olds. Children 4 and under are admitted for free, but still have to register.
Grab tickets for the Cherry Republic Summer Tours at cherryrepublic.com.
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