Liberty Orchards Company, Makers of Aplets & Cotlets Candies, to Close


CASHMERE, Wash. – After more than 100 years of business, Liberty Orchards Company, the Washington State family-owned makers of Aplets & Cotlets candies, will close operations by June 2021. The company will continue to seek a buyer for the assets, including the brands, the production equipment, and the factory and warehouse buildings.

An early billboard ad for the company

The company’s Board of Directors and Shareholders wish to thank its many employees, its long-time suppliers, the people of Cashmere, Washington, where the factory and retail store are located, and its customers from around the globe for their loyalty over the last century. The company was founded in 1920 by two Armenian immigrants, Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian, who bought a small apple orchard and were inspired to use their surplus fruit to create Aplets, an apple and walnut confection based on Locoum, the famous Near East candy popularly known as Turkish Delight. A few years later, a second product, Cotlets, made with apricots and walnuts, was introduced.

Armenian immigrants Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian founded Liberty Orchards

Three generations of family members have managed the business since 1920. The founders’ legacy was carried into the second generation by John Chakirian and Richard Odabashian, who ran the business from 1956 into the 1980s. Since then, Greg Taylor, the grandson of Armen Tertsagian, has served as the company’s President.

In this photo from the early 1920’s showing packing of candies, you can spot founder Mark Balaban’s wife, Ibraxie Balaban, 2nd from the left in the foreground.

Besides Aplets & Cotlets, the company produces Fruit Delights, Dessert Delights, and Fruitlets, to name just a few of its products. More recently, the company created Orchard Bars, a nutritious fruit-nut-seed bar, to meet the growing demand for gluten-free, non-GMO snacks. The company was founded by immigrants who came to this country as refugees, filled with gratitude, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a willingness to work hard. The family is immensely proud to have carried forward the founders’ legacy in providing more than 100 years of the highest quality products and employment to generations of families in its community.

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Topics: candy
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