The following op-eds by Bob Sutherland and Julie Zapoli—both Little Traverse Lake residents and Glen Arbor business owners—were written in response to the Sun’s coverage of Little Traverse Lake Association opposition to an expansion of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, a portion of which would run near the north shore of the lake. Sutherland writes, “It is unfortunate that we are going to lose more trees in the development of this trail, but in the big picture, this four-mile extension completes an infinitely positive recreational trail and a key transportation alternative for residents and vacationers in Leelanau County. The recent study that opposition used to stir up doubt in this final section should not take away from the decade of environmentally sensitive planning the National Park Service, Michigan Department of Transportation, Leelanau County Road Commission, and Army Corp of Engineers executed to meet all the federal wetlands, dune and endangered species regulations.”

In a significant move to bolster the agricultural community, Cherry Republic announced that during National Cherry Month in February, 2 percent of all sales from its six stores and online will be donated to the Farm Stress Program, supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Michigan farmers. “This February, every purchase at Cherry Republic is not just a tribute to the iconic Michigan cherry, but also a direct support to the heart and soul of our agricultural community — our farmers,” said Sara Harding, vice president of Marketing and Impact at Cherry Republic. The donation to the Farm Stress Program is a cornerstone of Cherry Republic’s campaign to spotlight the importance of mental health among farmers. The program, with MSU Extension, provides free resources including teletherapy, educational presentations, farm financial analysis, and business management strategies, among others.

Bestselling author Wade Rouse, who writes under the pen name “Viola Shipman,” beat Cherry Republic owner Bob Sutherland in a pit-spitting competition at the Cherry Public House beer garden on June 23, following their conversation about Shipman’s newest novel “Famous in a Small Town,” which was inspired by Cherry Republic and Bob’s late mother, Mary Sutherland.

Mary Sutherland, the matriarch of a well-know Glen Arbor family who passed away in January at age 92—and who allegedly holds the record for pit spitting at Cherry Republic—inspired Viola Shipman’s latest book “Famous in a Small Town,” which has received accolades as one of the Best Summer Books of 2023 by the Good Morning America TV show, and Reader’s Digest. Wade Rouse, who uses the “Viola Shipman” pen name, will appear at Cherry Republic on June 23, from 4-5 pm in the Cherry Public House Beer Garden for a book signing and conversation with Bob Sutherland. “When I began writing fiction, I didn’t see many characters like my grandmother or my mom, or Mary Sutherland,” said Rouse.

RIP, Mary Sutherland, a longtime Glen Arbor resident, teacher, feminist and champion for gender equality, who was perhaps best known as the matriarch of a large entrepreneurial, athletic, and public-spirited clan that has had an outsized impact on Leelanau County and the Grand Traverse region. Here is F Josephine Arrowood’s story we published just over a decade ago on the occasion of Mary reissuing her self-help book “Claim Your Self,” which was originally published in 1983. Mary passed away on Saturday, Jan. 28, at age 92, her son Bob, president of Cherry Republic, confirmed.

This December, Cherry Republic has launched its ninth annual 31 Days of Giving campaign, the Glen Arbor company’s oldest charitable giving initiative. Throughout the month, Cherry Republic will announce gifts totaling $300,000 to Michigan organizations protecting our water, climate, and quality of life.

Glen Arbor has a front-row seat at today’s titanic college football contest between Michigan and Ohio State at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine have an annual friendly wager on “the game.” If the Buckeyes win, DeWine will receive “a gift package of famous Michigan-made cherry sweets and treats from Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor.”

Cherry Republic will open all six of its Michigan stores this weekend. Cherry Public House, the restaurant and brewpub on the flagship Glen Arbor campus will open Friday from noon until 8 p.m. and hold those hours through the following week. Cherry Republic may extend hours for Memorial weekend. Check out our interview with Cherry Republic president Bob Sutherland about the decision to reopen now, what will be different about the shopping experience, and the biggest hurdles he, his family and his staff have had to overcome during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was impressed with how personable the Governor was,” said Cherry Republic president Bob Sutherland after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent Thursday afternoon, August 8, on Lake Street—first at Cherry Republic, then at the Glen Arbor Arts Center (GAAC), then on Lake Street Studio Stage where she spoke to the public about Great Lakes issues.

Longtime Cherry Republic executive and partner, Todd Ciolek, has been promoted to chief executive officer of the company. In his new capacity he manages all departments and oversees day-to-day functions at Cherry Republic.