As many Cherry Stop fans have noticed, there as been little activity here over the summer, as well as an inability to make a purchase without calling. That is because The Cherry Stop changed hands early this summer, and we, the new owners, Sonja and Bret Richards, were not planning on making the purchase when we did, and it came at a time when we were entering our own very busy summer season with our nursery and lavender farm. We are finally ready to get down to it and make the changes we have been discussing for the past months! Before we get to those changes, though, a little info about us...
We met Jamie and Nick Roster, the previous owners, about 10 years ago (which doesn't seem at all possible!), just after they had purchased the business from its original owner. At that time, there was a storefront in downtown Traverse City, which Nick and Jamie continued to operate until about five years ago, when they moved to a production facility to focus more on web site sales, private labeling, and building their wholesale business. During the time they operated the storefront downtown, they were not only blessed with success, but also two little boys.
As the boys got older and involved in sports and activities, it became challenging to manage them along with the retail portion of their business; switching to more wholesale made sense at the time. Our relationship with them changed a bit in that they were producing some products for us at our lavender farm. In the spring of this year, they decided to close The Cherry Stop and move into a more "normal" life with regular jobs, rather than continue to try to balance their home life with the business. Enter Harbor View Nursery & Lavender Farm!
We decided to take over The Cherry Stop to at least continue making our own products, as well as to carry on with the most popular cherry products. After all, The Cherry Stop has been a Traverse City favorite for over 25 years, and it would be sad to watch it go away. However, we were not planning on taking on such a large project at that time of year, a time when we are getting very busy with our nursery on Old Mission Peninsula, which we had for 25 years, and our lavender farm, started 10 years ago. So we sat on the web site, discussed changes when we had a few minutes together that were not occupied by something else, rented a commercial space, made the bare minimum of products as needed, and filled orders as we could that came in over the phone. We did manage to take the booth space at the Cherry Festival, a new and exciting experience. We met some Cherry Stop fans there, which was great!
The orders that have come in, the conversations we have had with customers, along with the sales reports provided by Nick and Jamie and the things we have seen sell at our locations this summer, have all helped us to see how to restructure the business and decide on some changes. The theme of the changes is simplification. As you can see in the product selection (if you are familiar with the line previously offered), we have chosen to offer only the most popular items at this time. We may expand these offerings in the future, but for now, this makes sense to us. We understand that some folks will be disappointed that they can not find their favorite product, but we believe most people will be still be able to find something delicious and will be happy with their selections. We are not changing the recipes, so you can expect the same taste and quality that you previously experienced.
We certainly appreciate your patience during this transition time, and we welcome suggestions. We also invite you to stop in at the shop or farm the next time you are in Traverse City. We'd love to meet you!