Here at Cherry Central, we are fortunate enough to have our headquarters in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. Although our Cherry Cooperative was founded in 1973, Traverse City’s relationship with cherries began well before that.
Peter Dougherty began starting to plant cherry trees in 1852 on our very own Old Mission Peninsula. Once the Midwest proved to have an extremely conducive climate for growing cherries, mass harvesting soon took place. In 1893, the first Michigan commercial tart cherry orchards got planted and before long production surpassed other crops. The first cherry processing facility, Traverse City Canning Company, was built with the ruby-red fruit getting shipped to neighboring cities in the Midwest. Outreach to the entire country was created shortly after so on April 2nd, 1973, when five Michigan farmers came together to form Cherry Central Cooperative, there was no question as to whether or not we should call Traverse City home. We are fortunate that Roy Hackert, one of the original five is still with Cherry Central as President of Indian Summer Cooperative.
Today, Cherry Central has growers across North America, but we are proud that our home state of Michigan grows 75 percent of the tart cherry crop. Traverse City celebrates annually with the National Cherry Festival. If you happen to be visiting within the next few days, please do get out and enjoy the festivities and see why we cherish our beloved superfruit so much.