Bob Sutherland started Cherry Republic 25 years ago with a t-shirt he sold from the trunk of his car. A few years and many thousands of those t-shirts later, Bob branched out into cherry products.
It took a huge effort for those first few products– Dried Cherries and Cherry Boomchunka Cookies, but slowly with good hiring and help from all over northern Michigan, the company now has 170 terrific cherry products. As the product line has grown, so has the business.
Bob outgrew the trunk of his car many years ago and now has two flagship destinations in Glen Arbor and Traverse City and two satellite stores in Charlevoix and Ann Arbor. In addition to those, Cherry Republics thriving website and catalog business.
Before the start of Cherry Republic, Bob was board president of Michigan Land Use Institute for 5 years and commissioner of Leelanau County for a year.