The Push Button Cherry Pitter Story
The Mark Schlise family grew cherries in Door County, Wisconsin for over 40 years, starting in 1950. At that time, after a long day of harvesting, the “women folk” would work late into the night pitting cherries with paper clips and hair pins. Grandpa Mark said there had to be a better way and recruited Otto Krasburg, a tool and die maker vacationing from Chicago, to design the Push Button Cherry Pitter using 9 different dies, which would be expensive to duplicate today. So, despite the trend to outsource manufacturing to Asia, the Push Button Cherry Pitter is still wholly made in America!
Schlise Advertisement from the 1950s:
Upon Mark’s death in 1991, second generation Rita and Tony Schlise began marketing the Push Button Cherry Pitter. Sales were expanded to Michigan and then to 24 more states and Canada. Rita died in 2003, after 59 years of marriage. When Tony died in 2013, his eldest daughter Suzie Schlise continued the business with the invaluable help of cousin Lori Evenson. Suzie is retiring from her career as a Mental Health Social Worker and has worked the last 8 years counseling soldiers and families in the U.S. military. Lori, soon to be grandmother, is an accountant and a multi-talented, multitasking “angel” who anchors the business when Suzie is away.
Schlise Cherry Harvest in 1958, Suzie and Jane in the Center:
We sell primarily to orchards, farm markets, hardware and kitchen stores. Our Door County retailers have been friends and customers for years. We sell more pitters in Michigan than in any other state. Lautenbach Orchards and Farm Market in Door County, Wisconsin sold 800 Pushbutton Cherry Pitters in 2014. In the harvest season, Suzie delivers daily up and down the Door County peninsula.
The Journey Of The Push Button Cherry Pitter:
100% Made In The USA
The stems, plungers, and rubber strips are made by 3 separate US. manufacturing companies. They are all sent to C and S Manufacturing Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, who work their magic and manufacture the finished product. Then the family work begins. Suzie and Lori and friends and family assemble the pitters with the Jarden lids from Austin, Texas and attach them to cards printed by Van Lannen, Green Bay, Wisconsin with plastic ties from Nelco in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Lori ships the product by USPS or UPS. Thank you suppliers for the great quality of your products!
The C & S Company makes the pitters in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin: