The recycling roots of Houston’s Cherry Cos. began in 1952, when members of the Cherry family established a business to move homes intact from one location to another, addressing the re-use aspect of recycling from the start.
Over the course of the next six decades, the company started by Carl and Barbara Cherry and passed on to the next generation, has expanded into a number of recycling-related business sectors.
In 2009, Leonard Cherry, Carl and Barbara’s son, helps guide a family of companies that demolishes buildings, recycles a large percentage of the materials gener- ated and crushes large volumes of concrete and asphalt for customers throughout the South.
The city of Houston has enjoyed the benefits of being a business hub for the energy and aerospace sectors, two industries that have boomed (although occasionally hitting a bust cycle) in the past several decades.
As the energy, petro-chemical and aerospace sectors brought new construction and development to Houston, the booming construction scene also entailed some demolition work. For the Cherry family, residential demolition was a logical next step for their company, followed by an increasing amount of commercial demolition work.
Carl and Barbara Cherry retired in 1985, and since then their four sons have taken different paths within the family’s business operations. Keith now owns and operates the house moving company and John runs a spin-off company focusing on asbestos abatement.
Leonard is the president of Cherry Cos. while Rick is a vice president with the company in charge of the industrial demolition division and safety programs. Cherry Cos. has grown to include several corporate divisions involved in a wide variety (though related) of sectors.
As of August 2009, the combined Cherry Cos. employs more than 200 people and by one industry estimate is one of the 10 largest demolition companies in the United States and one of the 23 largest in the world.
The scope of the company has changed dramatically since 1952, but Leonard says that a number of core philosophies have remained.