Cheers to Cherries

Cherries are hailed for health benefits such as reducing arthritis pain and reducing soreness after a workout. Thanks to a state grant, that’s something more people will soon know.

“We’re trying to eliminate being categorized with energy drinks and the high-sugar drinks that are out there,” said Jeremy Paszczak, Country Ovens marketing coordinator. “We want people to understand they’re getting an all-natural recovery drink, and it’s going to give them the health benefits and the nutrients [of tart cherry juice] at maximum benefit, rather than cutting corners.”

Country Ovens, Ltd., of Forestville, was one of eight Wisconsin companies to receive Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The grants go to local food projects in Wisconsin, and will hopefully help state companies produce and sell more local food.

Country Ovens got a $30,000 matching grant to help them market their products and tell consumers about the health benefits of tart cherries.

“We’re going to have a strategic marketing plan that’s going to put the tart cherries at the forefront,” Paszczak said. “We want to prove it’s a viable product, and we can increase cherry growth as a whole within Door County. We’re not limited to just juice – there are tons of other things you can do with cherries.”

Country Ovens partners with sports teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers and the athletic department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to sell its Red Whey products, drinks made from tart cherry juice and whey protein.