● By Style
Photos by Dante Fontana
For Shirley Rice, business is all about family.
She and her husband own and operate the American River Cherry Company (americanrivercherryco.com) out of their home in Placerville, with the help of their eight grandchildren. “They know how to run all the machinery,” Rice says. “They do a great job.” Rice and her husband Reginald, medical vice president at Marshall Medical Center, have lived in the Foothills for over two decades, on 20 acres of land that they converted into a cherry orchard and an organic berry farm. “The Foothills are phenomenally beautiful,” Rice exclaims. “It’s a great area for growing things.”
After a career in nursing and later in interior design, Rice found her passion in managing the farm, which has gained national acclaim for its “U-Pick” cherries. “For years we wouldn’t do it,” Rice says. “Then, 10 years ago, we decided to try opening it up to the public. It was so successful, (and) the public loved it so much – we’ve never looked back.” All the profits of the family business are donated to a variety of charities, including their church’s youth group and Haiti relief. “It’s hugely important for us to give to the community,” Rice explains. “It’s what we’re here for.”
For more about Shirley Rice, and other local happenings and information, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – El Dorado County Foothills edition. Click on the Get Your Copy link on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations; click on the Subscribe link on this Web site to become a regular subscriber, or to order a copy of this issue or one of our back issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 916-988-9888.