Monties Tart Cherries are grown in orchards nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, fed by the winter snow run-off and valley wells, and cared for by the same families that founded Payson Fruit Growers in 1964. The summer harvest is hot and dry in Utah, but an annual tradition for the small town of Payson where everyone — all ages of girls, boys, aunts, uncles, and cousins plus local off-track school teachers and principals — pulls together to pick the cherries within a critical three to four-week period.

Our orchards sit at an optimal location for cherry growing. The combination of elevation and nearby Utah Lake help our crops withstand Utah’s cool high desert mornings. Hot summer days are perfect for ripening and infusing our Monties with a higher “brix” or natural sugar content. We consider ourselves lucky to live in a place that’s both beautiful and uniquely suited to growing the crop we love with our family, friends, and community.

Monties, Then & Now

As a co-op of family farms, Payson Fruit Growers originally grew Montmorency cherries, a varietal that originated in Europe and found popularity in the America as “pie cherries,” a cherry renowned for its tartness and color. A staple of middle American cuisine, the market started to shift for cherry growers in the 1980s.

Seeing an opportunity in the dried fruit market, Uncle Phil and others started to experiment with drying the harvested pitted cherries. The tart Montmorency cherry is unique — firm and intensely red, and not as tart as you might think for our modern taste buds. Payson Fruit Growers discovered dried tart cherries were delicious incorporated into salads, covered in chocolate, or just eaten by the handful.

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A Super Cherry

The good news is that Monties aren’t just tasty, but the colorful tart Montmorency cherries offer a natural source of iron, potassium, along with other vitamins and nutrients. As a “super fruit,” Monties are naturally filled with antioxidants, flavonoids, melatonin, quercetin, fiber, and anthocyanins. 

Learn More About the Science

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Our Process

Harvested in the heart of the Utah summer, we cool our cherries right after they are picked. Inspected and sorted for color, size, and imperfections, cherries are pitted and prepared for drying. In essence, our process yields the most perfect and best-tasting dried tart cherries available anywhere.

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