Liberty Orchards Company to close June 1 after 101 years in business | Local News | wenatcheeworld.com

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Greg Taylor, President of Liberty Orchard

Sal Lanuza emptied various hot mixes during a tour of Liberty Orchards in Cashmere, the hometown of Aplets and Cotlets in 2014. The mixture is cooled in various forms for a day, and then cut into fruit orchard strips.

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Cashing in-After 101 years of business, Liberty Orchards Company, the producer of Aplets and Cotlets, has announced plans to close on June 1.

The company’s president, Greg Taylor, said that three years ago they decided to sell the business, and if they couldn’t sell it, they decided to close it.

"A lot of interest has been aroused. We have had good negotiations with several potential buyers, but we have never been able to reach a deal. We have tried long enough and it is time to move on. We only recently decided in June Before closing the business." Taylor said.

Although the shutdown occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor stated that it is not directly related to the pandemic. He said that from an operational point of view, this made it more difficult to conduct business and did have a negative impact on certain sales, but the online business actually grew during the pandemic.

He said the pandemic has made it more difficult to sell the business.

"We have many interested groups. When the pandemic last spring, they gave up further research due to bigger problems in their own business." Taylor said. "It's difficult to find buyers for companies."

The company was founded in 1920 by two Armenian immigrants, Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian. They owned a small orchard and developed Aplets and Cotlets candies, which became the company’s staple food.

Taylor said that closing the company after so many years is a mixed blessing.

"Of course, disappointing. We are proud of reaching the year 101. We are proud of the legacy we have left, the employment opportunities we provide, and the customers we serve." He said. "Of course we have tried to run our business honestly and with integrity. We look back and we are proud of it."

Taylor, who has worked for the company for 43 years, said that they thank customers, suppliers, the town of Cashmere and the entire region for their support.

Freedom Orchard has between 25 and 125 employees. Taylor said that these employees are one of the reasons for the company's long-term business, in addition to excellent products.

"We have good employees, loyal employees. Most people here have been with us for 20,000 hours, at least 10 years. Many employees have been with us for 20 to 30 years," Taylor said. "We have good employees and have continuity. We get them and they tend to be with us. The accumulated knowledge is valuable to the company."

The company will sell its inventory before June 1. Taylor said the store will remain open and the tour will last until the end of May. For those customers who wish to obtain products before the production line is closed, online sales and mail order services will continue until June 1.

Ian Dunn: 664-7157

You can contact Ian Dunn at [email protected]

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