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On daily walks around her family’s orchard after cherry harvest, Pam Montgomery discovered ripe Bing cherries drying naturally on the branches. Although studies at UC Davis had concluded that drying cherries without added sugar or preservatives was not plausible, Pam believed the natural sugars in tree-ripened cherries were enough. She was right—and the seed for Chukar Cherries was planted.
In 1988 Pam moved her budding enterprise into a manufacturing facility in Prosser—the center of Washington’s wine and cherry growing region—where she began offering dried Northwest cherries in snack-size boxes.
Chukar’s dried Bing and Rainier cherries still contain just one simple ingredient: cherries.
Several years after launching Chukar, Pam was inspired by a display of chocolate-covered fruit at the famed Harrods of London. Returning to the Northwest, she arranged a meeting with Gary Guittard—a 5th generation chocolatier who was automating his operation. Guittard sold Pam 14 old-world copper panning kettles—propelling Chukar in a new direction.
An instant favorite, Chukar’s chocolate line has grown to encompass a giftable array of naturally dried, chocolate-covered cherries, berries, and nuts.
Chukar opens in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Open daily in the center of the main arcade Chukar in Pike is a destination for local and international visitors alike.
JT Montgomery joins Chukar as CFO. JT’s operational oversight guides the company and committed team leaders. Pam and JT are married in 2005 and dubbed “Ma and Pa Chukar.”
Today we still make nearly everything we sell from local fruit—grown and small-batch crafted in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. We take pride in bringing you the Best of Nature, Best of Chocolate® and thank you—the Best of Customers—for supporting agriculture and small business in our great Northwest
Related to a Rock Partridge, the Chukar is an aerial speedster. Originally from Asia, it thrives in the arid climate of the Intermountain West.