In 1991, Mike and Marsh Shadbolt bought a Royal Ann cherry orchard located in an historic cherry growing region, the Eola Hills west of Salem, Oregon. Mike and Marsh began working together to learn everything about the cherry business as well as tending to the scenic 37 acres. While learning about cherries they realized that by drying them, without adding any preservatives, sulfites, sugars or oils, the cherry’s natural flavors are highlighted. Their "cherry hobby" inspired them and slowly evolved into Cherry Country, a family owned and operated company based on showcasing the dynamic flavors and healthy benefits of cherries.
By 2001, business was booming and Celeste Shadbolt Bonniksen, Mike and Marsh’s daughter, joined the team as the general manager to help keep up with the increased demand as well as branding the company. Today, Cherry Country is dedicated to processing the best cherries from their own orchard as well as other neighboring, family owned cherry orchards in the Willamette Valley. Cherry Country specializes in making all-natural and preservative free cherry products, highlighting the fruit's wonderful natural flavors. The business’s signature product is Dried Cherries & Chocolate, which does not contain anything other than a Royal Ann dried cherry in the center of high quality milk or dark chocolate. This product is a great, all-natural alternative to the old-fashioned cherry cordialOver the past ten years, Cherry Country has had a strong presence at the local farmers markets in Portland, Corvallis, Salem and Hillsdale. Cherry Country now employs 6 people and has enjoyed a thriving online business over the past few years. Cherry Country products are now carried in several grocery stores and specialty gift stores in the Northwest. Cherry Country has been featured on the Food Network's "Road Tasted with the Neelys" in their episode "Trail Blazing Tastes in Portland”.