Prosser, WA, February 09, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- February is National Cherry Month and there’s no better place to celebrate than in Washington State, the nation’s leading producer of sweet cherries. Chukar Cherries, a family business that began on a Yakima Valley cherry orchard, makes cherries available year-round by transforming locally grown fruit into healthy and delicious snacks, sauces, confections, and gifts.
Cherries are celebrated throughout February for many reasons. They are linked to Valentine’s Day and to Presidents Day through the folklore of George Washington and the cherry tree. Cherries are also vitally important to the United States economy as an export crop. The U.S. is the second largest producer of cherries and, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the primary exporter of cherries worldwide. Cherries are notable for their nutritional value, are an excellent source of potassium and melatonin, and are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Since their nascence, Chukar has made sourcing cherries from Northwest growers a priority. Founder and CEO, Pam Montgomery explains it this way, “In 1988 we launched Chukar Cherries with a mission to introduce Northwest cherries and the regional bounty of the Pacific Northwest to the world. Working with local growers is central to this mission.”
Cherries are also historically important to the Pacific Northwest. In fact, two of the world’s most popular varieties of cherries were developed in the Northwest. Bings, a dark sweet cherry, were developed in Oregon in 1875 while golden, sweet Rainier cherries were developed in 1952 at the Washington State Agricultural Experiment Station in Prosser, Washington.
Like Rainier cherries, Chukar Cherries began in Prosser on a cherry orchard. Pam Montgomery started looking for uses for cherries left after harvest in her family’s orchard. She developed a natural drying process that allowed sweet cherries to be dried without sugar, additives, or preservatives.
In 1992 Chukar opened their stand in Seattle’s Pike Place Market where they share their love of Northwest cherries with visitors from around the world. Chukar Cherries can also be found at factory headquarters in Prosser, WA, and online at www.chukar.com.
The Chukar Story
In 1988 our family launched Chukar Cherries on our beloved cherry orchard to showcase the natural bounty of Washington's fruit lands. To this day, our approach in the Chukar Kitchen is simple—transform tree-ripened local fruits and hearty nuts into freshly made, extraordinary cherry and chocolate gifts. One taste and you’ll know that Chukar is synonymous with the Best of Nature, Best of Chocolate®.