Northern Michigan’s Shoreline Fruit is one of the largest tart cherry operations in North America. The company’s roots go back to 1969, when the Gregory and Veliquette families began growing, harvesting, and selling cherries.
Over the years, the growers evolved their business, adding pitting operations to their services before selling the fruit to other processors. In 2008, the business expanded their value and local impact by processing all the finished goods for their customers, and Shoreline Fruit was formed.
The Shoreline Fruit cooperative of growers has 6,000 acres of orchards and typically harvests more than 25 million pounds of Montmorency tart cherries each year. Their growers are among the first cherry farms in Northern Michigan to earn USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification. The orchards are sustained by managing the balance between the need for optimum productivity and the necessity of safeguarding our environment.
“As a grower-owned company, we are uniquely positioned to control the quality and safety of our products from the farms all the way to our end customers,” said Jason Warren, Shoreline Fruit CEO.
Shoreline Fruit markets premium fruit products around the world, including various dried products, concentrate and juice products, frozen dessert and ingredient products, nutraceutical products, and maraschinos.
Shoreline also offers a broad selection of premium dried fruits, concentrates and juices directly to consumers under their Cherry Bay Orchards® brand through their online store, and through a variety of retail and specialty food marketers and distributors. From their farms to the consumer, Shoreline is committed to quality, food safety, innovation, and sustainability.
“From the stewardship of our land to the highest level of quality and food safety certifications at our processing and production facilities, our growers strive to ensure that their pride of ownership is reflected in all that we do,” Jason said. “We firmly believe that America’s farming heritage is part of what has made this nation great, and that this needs to be preserved and nurtured to ensure that generations to come can enjoy the food security and abundance that so many of us take for granted.”
Shoreline Fruit’s beginning stems from when the two families met at Michigan State University.
“It’s the result of a couple of farm families that had a dream to produce tart cherries, and it evolved to the point where they not only produce it, but they add value to it by converting it to foods we all like to consume, like dried cherries, chocolate covered cherries, and cherry juice,” said John Jones, GreenStone senior VP of commercial lending. “The current operation is the result of all of their years of work.”
John, who has worked with the farm for a decade, admires the way the families have successfully worked together.
“It’s one thing for family members to work together in a farm operation, but when you have two families that have decided to work together, it’s a little bit different than what you typically see,” he said. “But it’s because of working together that they have been able to get to where they are today.”