With over 300 employees, Cherrylake’s family-owned business is recognized for providing an exceptional opportunity for employees to grow and engage with their community.
Cherrylake, located in Groveland, has been named one of the 2018 Best Places to Work by the Orlando Business Journal. As a leading wholesale nursery and landscape contractor in its industry, this recent recognition joins the list of Cherrylake’s many other accolades, including the Top Employer in Lake County (OBJ 2017), Largest Family Owned Business in Central Florida (OBJ 2017), Top 100 Companies for Working Families (Orlando Sentinel 2013) and the prestigious CARES Award (Florida Farm Bureau 2016).
For over 30 years, Cherrylake and the Sallin family have been farming 1,000 acres of land in Groveland. The founders began as citrus growers, but after the devastating freezes of the 1980s, they relocated their citrus groves further south and began farming the land with ornamental trees. Today, Cherrylake is a multi-million dollar diversified agribusiness with operations in wholesale trees, shrubs and palms, as well as a landscape construction and landscape maintenance for many high profile properties in Central Florida.
Timothee Sallin, President and co-owner, explains “The growth and success of our company is a by-product of the values our family holds dearly and that guide our day to day actions. These values include caring for the land we own with the utmost respect for the environment, and providing meaningful, valuable jobs to our family of employees and the local community.”
With over 300 employees and a farm that is known for its beautiful rolling hills and meticulous rows of trees, it appears Cherrylake is indeed living up to its family values. The company employs over 250 residents of Lake County. In fact, hiring a local workforce is part of their recruiting strategy. “We believe in work-life integration. We want our employees to have a short commute, and to work, live and play alongside their families here in Clermont, Groveland, Minneola and Mascotte,” says Chloe Gentry, Director of Organizational Development. She goes on to explain that creating a local family of employees also means being active members in the community – from volunteering in local schools, partnering in local beautification projects, or connecting employees with resources available in Lake County. Cherrylake’s employee base is diverse but consistent — from field labor, Horticulturalists, Construction Project Managers to Accountants, IT Administrators and Sales Representatives.
As opposed to many agricultural crops in Florida, ornamental plants is one that requires year-round labor and has a year-round market. This has helped Cherrylake build a staff of employees that are tenured and have deep roots in the company. Stories of 3 generations of family members working at Cherrylake is not uncommon, nor is a 20-year tenureship.
The Best Places to Work Award was determined based on career growth and opportunity, richness of employee benefit plans such as 401k, Health Insurance, and Life Insurance, as well as a survey that was sent to all employees to get a true pulse of the culture and employee engagement at Cherrylake.
Some of the perks employees highlighted in the survey were strong healthcare benefits, including a 100% company funded Teladoc benefit that provides employees and their families access to certified doctors 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year free of charge. Also on top of the list is career growth opportunities, with strong compensation packages and a starting wage that is 40% above minimum wage. But what seems to have been most apparent was Cherrylake’s deep care for its employees – from its workplace safety initiatives to its free weekly Yoga classes under the mature Oak canopies of its farm.