Monday, November 16, 2009

A Box Full of Cherries

You may not know this about me, but I LOVE cherries. I haven't always loved them and I don't remember when I started, but they've always been a summer staple (whether I ate them or not) since I was young because we spent much of our time Up North at the cottage, which is very close to Traverse City, the Cherry Capitol.

I also LOVE cookies. It's a pretty big weakness of mine and it's pretty ridiculous how much I love a really good chocolate chip cookie. I am on a continuous search for the cities BEST chocolate chip cookie, but that will have to wait for another post.

There is a fabulous place in Glen Arbor, Michigan. It's a country all of it's own - the Cherry Republic. Life, Liberty, Beaches & Pie. It's been around for 20 years and everything sold from the Republic features cherries. If you ever go to the Cherry Republic (and I hope you do) my one piece of advice is to go hungry. You can taste almost every item they sell, plus they have a cafe that serves food and ice cream! There is also a wine tasting room that includes non-alcoholic beverages too (Cherry Sangria and Cherry Root Beer all in the same room!)

My absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie is the original Boomchunka from Cherry Republic. Boom-whata? I hear ya! It's a fantastic combination of an oatmeal cookie base with big chunks of dark chocolate, dried cherries and pecans. Yum! One of the e-newsletters in October featured a new flavor - the Harvest Boomchunka - with no nuts or chocolate (what?!) but dried apples and other fruits. Well, it was only for a limited time, so I had to try it since I've tried all of the other versions. But, I couldn't just order cookies to be shipped from Michigan.

I ended up ordering 2 packages of Harvest Boomchunkas, 1 package of the original (the cookies freeze people, we haven't eaten them all yet!), 1 jar of cherry mustard, 1 jar of strawberry-cherry preserves and a bag of dark chocolate covered dried cherries. Our fantastic box of goodies showed up Friday.

On Saturday, Woody came home from running a few errands and had ANOTHER Cherry Republic box in his hands! WHAT?!? My awesome parents sent us a box of goodies for Thanksgiving since we're staying here again this year. They sent us two jars of cherry-cranberry sauce (another new product) and another package of original Boomchunkas (they know me so well!).

We are overflowing with Cherry Republic stuff and I LOVE IT! Check them out sometime. They have a great website, easy ordering, and if you call them, you actually talk with someone who is super nice and helpful. They do a lot of business for the holidays (including for us, we love getting gifts from this local company) and hire extra workers from the local communities to help meet demands. They do have their fare share of indulgences (Chocolate Cherry Coffee Cake, Chocolate Covered dried Cherries, and lots more) but they also have lots of great healthier options too (nut mixes, organic jams, sugar free jams and preserves, cherry tea, tart cherry juice concentrate).

Take a look at their site here, fall in love, and order some goodies!

Our loot!

A sign at Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor

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