PROSSER, Wash. - A Yakima Valley business is celebrating a milestone.
Chukar Cherries, whose headquarters are in Prosser, has been
transforming local fruit for a quarter of a century.
"The goal of
the company was always to celebrate the agriculture bounty that we have
here," said Pam Montgomery, the founder and owner of Chukar Cherries.
Pam founded the boutique cherry company back in 1988 after tasting a naturally dried cherry on her family's orchard.
built a small dehydrator--found that it could work--that it could
naturally dry sweet cherries and the company moved into this building,"
said JT Montgomery, Pam's husband and co-owner of Chukar Cherries.
cherry manufacturer has since blossomed into a multi-million dollar
operation with nearly 100 employees during its peak season, three retail
stores, dozens of products, even an online catalog.
thousands of pounds of cherries are loaded into a dehydrator and
transformed into chocolates, trail mix and preservatives.
cherries aren't the only fruit in the mix. There's also dried berries,
apples and nuts. The products are all made at the factory in Prosser
and are then sold both here in the Northwest and around the world.
"Our tag line is 'Best of Nature, Best of Chocolate,' and we've always pursued that with a passion," said JT.
It's a passion, Pam and JT believes will keep Chukar Cherries around for decades to come.