Day 343: Cherry Capital Foods

Day 343: Cherry Capital Foods

All of Northern Michigan is looking forward to the gorgeous summer months that remind us of why we live here, and Cherry Capital Foods is no exception.  A food distributor located in Traverse City, this company got off to a rough start in 2007; however, they quickly restructured in 2009 to make each year more and more successful. In fact, since the restructuring, Cherry Capital Foods has experienced a 50% increase each year, and this year, the crew is aiming for a growth of 60%.

The Awesome Mitten - Cherry Capital Foods
Photo courtesy of Michael Kent

Cherry Capital Foods encourages Michiganders to eat local–and that doesn’t mean just eating locally sourced food. It also means paying attention to what is in season locally to further lower your carbon footprint. About 20% of the food that comes through Cherry Capital Foods ends up in Michigan schools. The rest goes to Michigan restaurants, hospitals, and other institutions depending on demand.  Cherry Capital Foods prides themselves on their relationships with farmers and customers. They emphasize the importance helping customers find specific products from Michigan farmers and keep a constant communication stream going.

Not only does Cherry Capital Foods encourage people to eat locally, but they are environmentally friendly as well. In fact, they just revamped the cardboard boxes that they ship all of their food out in to make them biodegradable. Boxes that ship food need a special coating in order to keep food sanitary and safe for eating. Generally, this is made from an element that will not break down naturally. For a slightly higher cost, Cherry Capital Foods was able to bring in boxes that have that specific coating made from plants, making them eco-friendly.

The Awesome Mitten - Cherry Capital Foods
Photo courtesy of Michael Kent

Cherry Capital Foods employs about 16 people year round, made up of teams that specialize in distribution, marketing, sales, and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) consulting. The summer months are obviously the company’s busiest, but they like to keep their employees full time during the winter months as well.

Information on who Cherry Capital Foods partners with can be found on their website.  As each produce vendor comes into season and partners with Cherry Capital Foods, the specialists at Cherry Capital Foods create a page for that company to keep customers up to date with what kinds of food they are sourcing. Their blog and Facebook pages are great ways to stay current with what is in season and how much it is selling for. The blog also provides a list of where Cherry Capital Foods gets all of its food for distribution and when certain produce will be available. In addition, they have a mailing list for people to join to receive general information.  The team at Cherry Capital Foods has an abundance of knowledge on Michigan’s finest foods and welcomes customers to contact them with any questions they may have.

-Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer

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The Awesome Mitten was born when I moved back to Michigan from Nashville, TN in September 2010. Almost immediately, I became frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more Michigan residents singing our states praises! I was so irritated, I wrote a Letter to the Editor. Three weeks later, I had started a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a landing page for the website, determined to do something to make Michigan residents aware of all the cool things going on in their own state. Email me: alex@awesomemitten.com