Liberty Orchards, company that makes Aplets and Cotlets, to close after 101 years in business

Aplets and Cotlets image courtesy Liberty Orchards website

After 101 years in business, the makers of a Pacific Northwest staple are closing their doors. 

Cashmere-based Liberty Orchards, which produces Aplets and Cotlets candies, is shutting down on June 1.

Company President Greg Taylor told Q13 News that they decided several years ago to sell the business, but after a fair amount of interest and some near-deals, they haven't been able to sell. 

"Reluctantly, we decided it's time to close our doors," Taylor said. "Obviously we're disappointed that the business is coming to a close, but we're so proud of our history, of what our founding fathers created ... Our family's going to look back fondly on our history with Liberty Orchards."

Taylor's grandfather and uncle, Armenian immigrants who came to America in the early 1900s, founded the business in 1920. 

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In the Pacific Northwest, the company is known for Aplets and Cotlets, but their other line, Fruit Delights, is more popular nationally, Taylor said. 

Although the family decided to sell the business long before the pandemic began, Taylor said Covid-19 did play a role in accelerating the company's closure. 

"The pandemic has made it harder to do business, as it has for everybody. It's a tough environment to sell a business," he said. 

Taylor said the company employs 25-30 year-round, full-time employees and 100-plus seasonal workers in the fall and late fall. 

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