The Leelanau Enterprise reports that a new Processing Renaissance Zone in Grand Traverse County is expected to help many Leelanau growers by expanding what is already one of the world’s largest cherry processing facilities:
The owners of one of Leelanau County’s largest fruit growing operations – Bob and Don Gregory of Cherry Bay Orchards – are among principal owners of Shoreline Fruit, L.L.C. which operates a processing facility in Grand Traverse County’s Acme Township.
Officials of Shoreline Fruit this week announced that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder approved establishment of an Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone (an APRZ) for the expansion of the facility in Acme. The APRZ designation waives most state and local taxes for up to 15 years for an expanded area of the plant only. The designation is expected to save Shoreline Fruit up to $1.9 million as part of a $7.5 million plan to expand the facility.
“Shoreline has been processing cherries from many more growers than just Cherry Bay Orchards,” Don Gregory told the Enterprise this week. “We expect that a very high percentage of cherries that will be processed at the expanded facility will come from throughout northwestern lower Michigan in general and most of them from Leelanau County in particular.”
…”We’re in the right place in terms of food trends, too, because cherries are considered to be ‘locally grown,'” Gregory added. “In the national market, ‘locally grown’ means anywhere in the U.S., and cherries along with blueberries and grapes seem to be gaining market share in comparison to some of the more exotic fruits grown in other countries.”
Photo credit: Cherry Blossoms by leelanau2010 (and yes, we have Cherry Blossoms!)