The bear has been around for ages, but he's lacked a name until now. We asked for suggestions from our Orchard Report readers, and hundreds poured in. After whittling the nominations down to a short list, you weighed in with your votes and we have a winner.
His name is Boomer.
Boomer’s name was suggested by Amy Hedley of Hazel Park, Michigan. Actually, it was suggested by several people (great minds think alike), but Amy’s submission was the first.
When we contacted Amy and told her that her name was the winner, she was pretty excited. Here’s her reaction, and answers to some of our questions. Yes, the exclamation marks are all hers.
"OMG! This is like the best news ever! I'm going down in Cherry Republic History! I am so excited. And now Boomer is the chosen keeper of the sunshine, magical waters, unashamed glee, dune sand and cherries that embody our Republic. It just keeps getting better!"
How did you come up with the name?
I took one look at that chubby bear cub and knew his name had to be Boomer. Perhaps it was divine inspiration or that he appears to have enjoyed a Boomchunka ... or two ... or 237.
How long have you been a fan of Cherry Republic?
My parents, Doug and Lucy Hedley, have a home on the Leelenau Peninsula. I grew up spending my summers in Glen Arbor and have have been a fan of Cherry Republic since my childhood. I remember cramming into the first store, mesmerized by the racks of sparkling jellies, cherry goodies, and crates of t-shirts.
What is your favorite item from the Republic?
I crave Cherry Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Cherry Guacamole and Cherry Ginger Ale. The Montmorency Cherry Preserves are ridiculous. I'm addicted. It's like candy for my toast. Every single variation of Cherry Salsa is like a party in my mouth and the Spicy Cherry BBQ sauce is amazing. I'm pretty sure the Cherry Waffle Chip Ice Cream changed my life. Pick a single favorite product? Impossible.
How often do you order/visit the stores?
During the summer months I love spending time with my family on Lime Lake and try to get Up North once a month despite the five-hour drive. I visit the Grand Cafe every single day I'm there, sometimes twice a day – although I'm not necessarily proud of that part.
For suggesting Boomer, we’re awarding her a special gift box, and sending something out to the other people who suggested the name of Boomer as well.