Cherry Republic

Julie Parker

6026 South Lake St
Glen Arbor, MI 49636

SBA 504:  The Cherry on Top!

The story of Cherry Republic began in 1989 when Bob Sutherland started selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his car for gas money. Shortly after, he hit the road to deliver his first cherry-inspired cookies, the “Boomchunka,” until eventually selling both the cookies and t-shirts out of his garage. Before he knew it, what began as a simple income generator had grown into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with six thriving retail locations across Michigan. Their niche is an array of over 250 cherry-infused food products, from chocolate-covered cherries to cherry salsa. They’ve got it all!

Cherry Republic has built success through many channels, including a growth-minded leadership philosophy and a top-notch company culture. According to Julie Meredith, Vice President of Administration, among those is the SBA 504 Loan Program administered through Great Lakes Commercial Finance. Cherry Republic used this financing tool three times to grow their company and transform it into an even more fruitful enterprise. “By utilizing the SBA 504 Loan Program, we were able to expand our facilities and upgrade the equipment we use to streamline operations, improving our overall customer experience,” said Julie Meredith, VP of Administration.

But that’s not all! Their expansion has snowballed, bringing growth and investment to their local communities. “With our commitment to donate 1% of our sales to the sustainability of the local area, we firmly believe that the SBA 504 program is not only paving the way for the growth of Cherry Republic but is also helping us further grow our support to these communities as well. Great Lakes Commercial Finance, along with our partners at Independent Bank, have provided the guidance needed to find lending solutions that continue to create opportunities for Cherry Republic, our partners, our employees, and our communities,” she continued.

For more information on Cherry Republic, visit their website at: