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What does Life, Liberty, Beaches and Pie stand for?

It was 23 years ago when I created this motto on a t-shirt.  I needed those words in gold and black to sit below a big red Cherry Republic.  The design called for Cherry Republic to feel like a country.  And since I was a teenager, my own personal mission is to inspire and uplift others, so it had to do that as well.    So, I took America’s motto of Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and added more definition to the term happiness.  Happiness to people from our region, certainly, it’s about eating pie.  And I don’t know many summer visitors at the beach that aren’t happy.

So, truthfully, I created the words before I created the company.  And now, two decades later, it is about time that I expressed to all Cherry Republicans what those words mean.  Let’s start with Life:

Life is local.  Life is the earth under our northern Michigan feet that sustains us and nourishes us.  Life is the goodness and inspiration we receive from our region to grow and thrive as individuals and as a society up here.  In my company’s own spunky way, we express life as “Cherries are our livelihood.  All bow to the cherry”.  And the cherry really is our most unique local identity.  Hey, we grow these things far better and more prolifically than anywhere else in the world!

Cherry Republic takes the essence of what makes northern Michigan special and expounds upon it.  A dozen years ago, a travel writer from the Washington Post wrote a glowing travel article about Leelanau County and he finished with (in my own words) “no lake, no beach, no drive or town can I send you to that better expresses the uniqueness of this region better than this quirky store called the Cherry Republic.”  And then he went on to talk about our funny old signs and rustic buildings and inspiring gardens and upbeat products like Cherry Boomchunkas.

What a boost that article was to my company.  But also to me personally.  It was a perfect pat on the back when I was taking big risks and struggling.  That article said, “keep on... keep on... keep on!!!”

Next week I will write about Liberty.