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 the state of 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!

And it all started in Glen Arbor, MI…

Cherry Republic has built success through many channels, including a growth-minded leadership philosophy and a top-notch company culture. But according to Julie Meredith, Vice President of Administration, among those is the SBA 504 loan program 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.”

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 a way for the growth of Cherry Republic but is also helping us further grow our support to these communities as well.” – Julie Meredith, VP of Administration

The company has donated over $2 million to nonprofits throughout the state of Michigan.

Today, Cherry Republic proudly employs up to 300 individuals seasonally, including 150 who serve as full-time employees. With strong company values grounding their work, Cherry Republic has been honored as Michigan’s Top Workplace for three consecutive years.

“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.” -Julie Meredith, VP of Administration

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