GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Cherry Deli, a mainstay on Grand Rapids’ Cherry Street SE for the last 17 years, is set to close next week.
In its short history, it has made a big impact on the neighborhood.
“Everybody’s just been really sympathetic and nice about it,” Jake Schulz said.
Seventeen years ago, his dad Scott Schulz took a chance on the neighborhood. It wasn’t easy, but his perseverance paid off for his shop and the area.
“I think it’s a lot better. It’s definitely a lot better. There’s definitely more businesses,” Jake Schulz said of the neighborhood these days.
“There’s a lot more to do; restaurants and that kind of stuff,” added his sister Maddie Schulz, also working behind the counter of the deli Monday.
Last October, tragedy struck. Scott Schulz was involved in a car crash. He survived, but his injuries were debilitating.
Since then, Jake and Maddie Schulz have been holding down the fort.
“Her and I have been running the business through COVID and we’re both now returning to school. And with the staff we have plus our schooling and him not being here, there’s just no way we can keep going,” Jake Schulz said. “We need the money from the property to buy my dad a new house. Nothing that’s handicapped accessible is cheap. A door frame isn’t cheap when you have to make the door two times bigger.”
It’s a tough move for the kids, who both grew up behind the counter of the family business.
“I just turned 19 yesterday, and it’s been here for 17 years. So it’s like our whole entire childhood has been at the deli and watching it grow and progress,” Maddie Schulz said. “It will be a very sad day, but it’s good that we’re leaving on a good note and we’re happy that the customers are still supporting us. And we’re just thankful for everybody.”
Cherry Deli will close Sept. 10.
The building is up for sale, still waiting for a buyer.