Claremore Daily Progress

October 28, 2012

Homegrown success is a sweet deal

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Three local companies are making a national impact through a homegrown relationship.

Cherry Berry, Marble Elegance and Parks Custom Cabinets may not be three names one would immediately associate, but these three companies have formed a unique partnership that is truly a recipe for success.

Dallas Jones of Cherry Berry, Mike Self of Marble Elegance and Bruce Parks started working together approximately two years ago and through their Sequoyah connection helped each company grow dramatically.

All three men grew up in Sequoyah and attended school together.

Some might focus on the success of Cherry Berry, however Jones is quick to point out it is relationships, just like his with Self and Parks that make a difference.

In 2010 the three men began to work together after a chance meeting. Jones had recently opened a store and needed some very specific work completed.

Self took on the challenge to create a custom piece to hold the yogurt machines. Eventually he began to design countertops and other design furniture pieces for the quickly growing restaurant chain.

Parks got involved by making cabinets for the business and the partnership was formed.

The guys worked so closely together that Self and Parks even share a truck to ship materials to new store locations.

Everything from box design to custom artwork went into the project and the local connection paid off.

“It was exciting to see how fast we have flourished,” Self said.

“Anytime we have found we could partner it makes us stronger, especially when it is a local company,” Parks said.

The same work values compliment each other and allows us to work through any problem that could arise, Parks added.

Jones may have said it best when he explained, “It is about relationships no about money.”

He highlighted the success his business has had, but just as quickly added that the 110 stores in less than two years were part of a team effort.

“These guys know how to treat their people right,” Jones added.

Cherry Berry has grown to 26 states and is even branching out internationally.

Founded on a dream and hard work the restaurant chain is growing quickly.

“It is a simple concept to be friendly and to be clean,” Jones said. “It is overlooked a lot.”

The relationships are a part of that success; they are a “big deal”, Jones added.

Jones, Self and Parks continue to work on the growth of their businesses both as part of the Cherry Berry family and individually.

Self recently joined the Claremore Chamber of Commerce and launched a venture into trophy design.

Parks continues to grow since being named the 2008 Entrepreneur for Rogers County by RCIDA.

All three men make it very clear that sometimes the best ingredients for success can be found in your own backyard.