Posted by Nick Roster on 12/19/2011 to Production Notes
Traverse City's own Cherry Stop has made a committment to flavor. In addition to making our jarred products in our kitchen on Front Street, Cherry Stop has revamped our recipes to create reduced-sugar products. All of our jams are now reduced sugar. We decided that the true flavor of the fruit should be the centerpiece of our products. When we reduced the sugar, we created a tremendously flavored product. The color is bright red and the fruit is not hidden by sugar. They turned out fantastic. Personally, I find our Cherry Jam pretty addictive, now that we have true cherry flavor.
What does reduced sugar actually mean? The FDA has strict guidelines on what some words on labels mean. Phrases like 'All Natural' are not regulated by the FDA, so they really mean nothing. However, 'Reduced Sugar' is defined as having at least '25% less sugar than an original item.' The amount of sugar in our jams is well below that mark.
Ultimately, a trade off is made in producing jams. You can add sugar, and this tends to lower the cost, but stifles the flavor of the fruit. Or, you can reduce the sugar, costs on the product go up a bit, but you have great color, and flavor in your product. Cherry Stop has been able to reduce the amount of sugar in their jams, and not increase the price.
We could make some health claim that our products are better for you without all the sugar, but the reality is, there is still sugar in the product. It tastes great, and that is what is our driving force. If it appeals to more people because the amount of sugar is reduced, that is great. We think more people will love it because of the flavor.
The Cherry Stop was founded in 1995 out of the demand for small bags of dried fruit. From there, product lines quickly grew, and being in the "Cherry Capital of the World," it seemed to make sense to have a store that celebrated all things cherry. The Cherry Stop calls itself you One-Stop Cherry Gift Shop. Everything from dried cherries, to cherry jams, cherry BBQ sauces and mustards, to pet treats, luggage and kitchen items. If it has cherries in it or on it, we probably have it.