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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 21, 2016
CONTACT: Barbara Hammons (406) 982-3064, Gary or Susan Snow (406) 982-3042
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JUICE PROCESSING FACILITY TO OPEN ON FLATHEAD LAKE

FINLEY POINT -- Tabletree Montana and Flathead Cherry Growers Association announced their joint partnership to construct a juice plant at Finley Point to be operational by the 2016 harvest season. The new venture will produce world class fruit juices and sauces utilizing culled, or damaged, fruit which has typically been discarded or sold at a loss to farmers.

Tabletree Enterprises was founded in 2010 when Gary and Susan Snow, cherry farmers in Creston, British Columbia, developed a unique process and equipment that produces high-quality fruit juices and culinary sauces from culled fruit. Two years later, Tabletree's Black Cherry Juice won first place in the Best Pure Juice category at the 2012 World Juice Awards. The following year, Tabletree Apple Juice won second place as the Best New Juice or Nectar at the same prestigious event.

After successfully marketing their product throughout Canada for the past six years, the Snows decided to open their business in Montana where they had previously resided.

"They say necessity is the mother of invention," said Susan Snow of Tabletree Montana. "As farmers ourselves, we were highly motivated to find a use for our culled fruit, so we experimented with making juices. The result is a delicious and healthy product that has been well received by consumers, chefs and food scientists alike."

Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Inc. (FLCG), an agricultural cooperative since 1935, currently has 70 members who grow about two million pounds of cherries each year. FLCG sells most of their fruit through a marketing agreement with Monson Fruit Company in Selah, Washington. After being processed with state of the art equipment, Monson packages and ships fresh Flathead cherries to domestic and foreign markets. In Montana, the cherries are consolidated and cooled at a warehouse at Finley Point owned by FLCG. This building will also be the site of the new juicing facility through a lease agreement with Tabletree.

"Cherries are culled for various deficiencies and in the past this has varied from 10 to 30%.” stated Bruce Johnson, FLCG President, "We have been looking for a way to create a value added product made here in Montana. Our partnership with Tabletree is truly a win-win-win situation. We can more fully utilize our warehouse facility and increase returns for our local cherry growers, while being profitable for Tabletree and boosting our local economy with the creation of new jobs."

Flathead Lake Cherry Growers received a Growth Through Agriculture grant awarded by the Montana Department of Agriculture, which will allow them to complete renovations of their warehouse necessary for Tabletree to construct their juice plant in that facility.

"We are excited to be back in Montana to build on the successes we had in Canada," said Gary Snow of Tabletree Montana. "Our business plan calls for developing a second juicing line next year and a continuous flow line in the future. We'll need more partners to help us accomplish that."

For more information, visit www.tabletreejuice.com.

For more about Flathead’s premier cherries, visit montanacherries.com and Monson’s at www.monsonfruit.com

 

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