John “Chip” Hoagland, owner of Tamarack Holdings, maintains a respected reputation across the state of Michigan, fueling economic growth and business expansion through infectious innovation. Chip’s dedication to sustainable local food systems, wild foraged and specialty products, and energy conservation have been center stage in his various business initiatives for decades.
Tamarack Holdings, an umbrella organization formed by Chip in 2015, is a collection of niche and symbiotic food businesses based in Traverse City, MI. The Tamarack Holdings portfolio consists of Cherry Capital Foods, Earthy Delights (Earthy.com) and Food For Thought.
- Cherry Capital Foods is a unique farm to table food hub recognized as the premiere distributor of foods that are made and grown in Michigan, along with a line of unique wild-foraged and specialty products.
- Earthy Delights (partial ownership from 1996; fully owned by Chip since 2013) and merged with Cherry Capital Foods in 2019) is a branded line of gourmet foods: dried mushrooms and chilis, high- end truffle oils and balsamic glaze. Earthy.com is the ecommerce platform for these products, along with a wide range of other wild foraged and specialty items.
- Food For Thought is an artisanal food processor known for gourmet, small batch, clean-label preserves, salsas, sauces, and condiments, with a priority on locally sourced ingredients.
Another unique farm to table Michigan food brand has recently been acquired by Chip as part of the Tamarack family – details on this to be released by the end of 2021.
Chip has been an active investor over the years in stocks, bonds, and commodities. Starting in the late 1990’s he began investing in private businesses. One such investment was Purity Foods, which he chaired from 1995 until it was sold to “The Anderson’s” in 2017. He helped guide management in transition from a commodity broker selling seed, to an expanded business focused on a re-emerging ancient grain (spelt), including contract growing, buying crops, processing, and selling finished products (snacks, cereals, pastas, flour).
More recently, Chip was an “angel investor” with Red Cedar Technology (from the MSU Engineering School), now part of Siemens. Learn more.
Chip purchased a closed ice arena in Traverse City, which was completely reimagined and remodeled in 2014 as the warehouse and headquarters for Cherry Capital Foods (CCF); the facility was widely recognized as the most significant real estate redevelopment 2017 in Grand Traverse County. Chip and his wife Shirley are also owners of the Long Lake Culinary Campus (LLCC), a multi-use facility that was created by repurposing and renovating an abandoned Traverse City elementary school. LLCC is the home of the production kitchen and offices for Food For Thought (along with various other food production and general office space tenants. Both LLCC and the CCF headquarters are “clean and green” facilities, built to the highest standards of energy conservation.
“We could have constructed brand new facilities for Food For Thought and Cherry Capital Foods at a fraction of the cost of renovating existing buildings. But I knew the right thing to do from the standpoint of carbon footprint reduction, was to utilize existing structures that were sitting empty, and repurpose them as state-of-the-art facilities using as much of the original structure as possible.” – Chip Hoagland.
Chip is a dedicated member of the greater food community, active on the board of Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, and Co-Founder of Northern Michigan Angels.
Chip’s father, Dr. John H. Hoagland, was instrumental in building the Purchasing/Supply Chain School at Michigan State University. Chip is known to comment that he started learning at an early age about the complexities of supply chain dynamics, “at the dinner table” and worked closely with his father in collecting and analyzing data. His long exposure to Purchasing and Supply Chain issues drove his thinking with CCF.
Chip attended Oberlin College and Michigan State University, earning a BA in Economics, Political Science and African Studies from MSU. Proud father of 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren, Chip and his wife/business partner Shirley have been married for 26 years and live on Big Glen Lake, MI, on the edge of Sleeping Bear Dunes.