Cashmere, WA After more than 100 years of business, Washington Aplets & Cotlets fruit candy maker Liberty Orchards Co. has announced that it will close June 1st altogether.
Greg Taylor, 72, the grandson of Armen Tertsagian, co-founder of Liberty Orchards, said the family had been unlucky for several years and was looking for a buyer. Taylor, who has been running the company for 43 years, said he was very, very ready to retire and the younger generation of his family was not interested in continuing surgery.
It’s bitter, but it’s certainly sweeter than bitter. Obviously, disappointed that we couldn’t continue, it was time for all of us to move on, Taylor told Capital Press on Friday. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who supported us.
Founded in 1920, Liberty Orchards continues to look for buyers of assets.
For decades, the company has purchased raw material concentrates, purees and frozen dried fruits from processors around the world. Apple concentrates were primarily sourced from apples in Washington.
The closure of the company affects about 55 full-time employees.
According to Taylor, he is proud to have provided jobs to thousands of families over the last 100 years.
Due to the closure, people will no longer be able to purchase Aplets & Cotlets candies after this June.
The community near Wenachi, Cashmere, Washington, was upset when the company announced news of an imminent closure.
Liberty Orchard is part of Cashmere’s identity, Cashmere Mayor Jim Fletcher told Eater Seattle a food publication.
In a statement, the Cashmere Chamber of Commerce stated that Liberty Orchard had made Cashmere a destination for travelers.
In Aplets & Cotlets’ Facebook announcement of the closure, hundreds of people commented and many called the next closure sad and sad. Many people shared their memories of the factory tour.
I have been enjoying Aplets & Cotlets for over 50 years. I sincerely hope that someone will buy the business and continue the tradition, one comment said.
Liberty Orchards was founded in 1920 by two Armenian immigrants, Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian.
The two started their venture by buying a small orchard, but the times were tough and they were looking for ways to take advantage of the surplus fruit. After research and development, they launched the first candy line, an apple and walnut confectionery based on the famous Near Eastern candy known as Turkish Delight.
They called this the fairy candy Aprets.
A few years later, they created a second product, cotlets, made of apricots and walnuts.
Over the decades, the company has expanded its product line to include products such as Fruit Delight, Desert Delight, Fruitlet and Orchard Bar.
Since 1920, three generations of families have managed the business. The second generation, John Chaquilian and Richard Odabasian, ran the business from 1956 to the 1980s. Since then, the third generation, Greg Taylor, has been president.
According to Taylor, the fourth-generation family did not grow up in Cashmere and has their own careers and families elsewhere, so no one will continue to do business.
People are sad to close, but he said he was grateful for the time we spent.
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