The Cherry on Top of a Drug Cartel

Is it art that imitates life, or life that imitates art?


The Cherry on Top of a Drug Cartel

With Breaking Bad setting a new standard for how dark and twisty things can get in TV-land, one has to wonder what a real-life parallel could be. As it turns out US franchise giants Chick-fil-A, TGI Fridays and Red Lobster are in quite the PR pickle after discovering their cherry supplier, Dell’s Maraschino Cherries was revealed to be an underground drug operation.

Police had been to the cherry plant to investigate the factory’s environmental impact on the surrounding area, only to discover around 40kgs of marijuana and hoards of cash.

After having a good poke around, they found a secret passage that lead underneath the warehouse where they found a growing operation, a Porsche, Rolls-Royce and a Harley-Davidson.

Dell’s Marashino Cherries was founded in 1948 and processes more than seven million kilos of cherries a year. In 2014 it underwent a brand revamp to modernise the logo, but it clearly lost its identity and some values along the way.

Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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