Last year, Cherry Republic celebrated its first 25 years of existence. As we start our second 25 years, we thought we’d share some dreams we hope to accomplish by the time we are 50. So here is a rainbow of ideas and though some might seem farfetched to you, each of these dreams have been discussed within the company as a possibility for our future.
One thing we know from our first 25 years is that anything we can dream and believe, we can achieve. It takes time and effort and focus and as our company fills with good people, it takes lots of cooperation and teamwork.
So here are our top ten dreams for our future. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.
1. A Food Truck
We'd love to deck out some Cherry Republic food trucks and then send them on tour around America. It could be stocked with our Boomchuggalugga Soda Pop, our Boomchunka Cookies and many other of our best products, not to mention some fresh-cooked favorites from our cafe. It could give people a taste of what our company is all about. And the goal would be to reach as many new people as possible to introduce our company and the wonderful northern Michigan cherry to them.
2. Special Events and Camps
We'd like to develop an active and successful event and experience arm of the company. Someday soon, Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor will create a day camp, tours, dinner events and many other memory making events for people visiting our region.
Our goal will be to take the best of northern Michigan and put it into an experience that lifts the spirits of anyone involved.
3. A Clothing Line
We’d like to start stitching and selling a line of Cherry Republic brand clothing. We would work with designers and come up with a line of summer wear.
Hawaii has those bright printed shirts, Florida has store after store of golf shirts, but what design is special to the Midwest? Plus, it would be fun to give people work. And something that they could do from their cozy homes all over northern Michigan.
4. A Cherry Republic Tall Ship
We would like to purchase a tall ship and use it not just for sailing tours, but to deliver cherries to our future stores across the Great Lakes. Can you imagine that—green shipping? What a great way to make a statement for the environment and for our crystal clear great lakes.
No fruit is more tied to the water than cherries, which need the temperate climate that Lake Michigan provides.
We are enthralled with the idea of an old rough and tumble schooner shipping cargo from our ports in the north to cities up and down the great lakes just like it was done 100 years ago would charge up our customers, our community, and the greater Midwest.
5. A Line in Nationwide Grocery Stores
As Sunkist is to oranges and Ocean Spray is to cranberries, let's make Cherry Republic a grocery staple for cherries. Could a small line of Cherry Republic cherry products with different packaging and labels be in 50,000 grocery markets by 2025?
6. More Retail Stores Around the Nation and the Globe
We would like to create more stores across the country and even the world. How about a Cherry Republic in every Great Lakes state? Or a store in Tokyo or Shanghai? Our research has shown that Asia loves dried fruits, cherries and American products.
But maybe before we venture out of country, we create a store in Washington DC since they have a cherry connection with the blossoms in the spring? Or how about Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Mackinac Island, Door County, Savannah, or Naples?
7. A Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or Farm Stay
Create a series of hotels or better yet, farm stays. When we Sutherlands were in Iceland, we had the best time staying at small farms. The boys ran around feeding cows and chickens and hiking in the sheep pastures and I got to hang out with the farmer and learn about his life and challenges and triumphs.
It would be a dream to create stays like that here in the USA that get visitors closer to small cherry farms and small farms in general.
8. Updating and Expanding Our Glen Arbor Campus
Complete some updates in Glen Arbor. There is so much to do here. We’ve got to rework the café so the entryway fronts the gardens and not the street. For the Great Hall, we are getting so squeezed. We hope to put a second floor balcony off the back half and also expand the first floor by knocking down some walls and turning a few offices into retail.
This is and will always be our flagship store, but to be that, we must continually reinvest to keep that store as up to date out of this world as possible.
9. Create a Publishing Business
Create a publishing arm of our company that prints cherry recipe books, like The Savory, Spicy, Sour and Sweet Dishes of the Cherry Republic. Or we create cherry guides and travel guides like A Thousand Things to do When Visiting Northern Michigan. Or How to Overcome your One Billion Faults to Reach Success. Or The Secret Story of how the Cherry Republic Came About.
10. Purchasing Cherry Orchards
Start purchasing cherry orchards and a cherry processing plant to wash, pit and store the cherries for future use.
Currently, we only own two trees, but to better protect our interests, it might be worthwhile to someday grow our own cherries and then store them until we need them. Plus, it would be fun to share stories with our customers of all the ups and downs of farming.
So What Do you Think?
Sure some of these ideas may be a little grandiose, but we dream big here. Let us know in the comments if any of them sound especially good (or bad!) or if you have suggestions of your own.