Succesful cherry harvest means new products at local business

Posted at 4:46 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 16:46:34-04

When you think about the state's agricultural, cherries come to mind! That little red fruit can help make Michigan's economy "fruitful!"

One store in Ann Arbor relies on a successful cherry harvest.

"Without the cherries, we wouldn't be here," said Rita Jourdan, the assistant manager at Cherry Republic.

The store gets their cherries from farms near Traverse City. She said, "The weather was perfect this year and we have tons of cherries."

Weather is everything when it comes to Michigan cherries. "When the climate changes dramatically the trees could die."

Rita said five years ago, Michigan cherries had to fight bad weather.

"It was 80 degrees in March and 80 degrees in March doesn't really help the cherries and then they had a frost," she explained. "Our store would have to obviously outsource the cherries from somewhere."

That year, they bought cherries from Poland.

But ever since, cherries have been plentiful which gives them the opportunity to try new products.

Just the past few weeks, Cherry Republic rolled out with new type of candy, salsa and wine, all thanks to a successful harvest.

"The cherry year has been pretty awesome."

The more the cherries, the fresher the products, like their jam. "When you taste that jam, the cherries are amazing they are so fresh."

The better the harvest, the better it is for business.

Jourdan added, "Without the cherries to work with, I don't think we would be able to produce as many products as we do."

Every year, Cherry Republic gives a percentage of its sales to agricultural programs in Northern Michigan.