Liberty Orchards Co., the family-run company that has made Aplets & Cotlets Candies for over a century, announced Wednesday that it will permanently shutter its operations in about six weeks even though the firm is still looking for a buyer who could take over its assets.
“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,” according to the company's written news release.
The firm, based in Cashmere, Wash., was founded in 1920 by Mark Balaban and Armen Tertsagian, two Armenian immigrants who settled in Washington state before purchasing a small apple orchard, the company said in a written statement. The firm plans to close on June 1.
The two founders decided to use its leftover apple product to make Aplets, an apple-and-walnut confection based on Locoum, a popular candy known as Turkish Delight. The company then introduced cotlets, made with apricots and walnuts.
The firm's assortment of products now includes Fruit Delights, Dessert Delights and, most recently, Orchard Bars.
The company did not say why it was shutting down but said the closure is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” the company said in its statement.
The company’s announcement generated an outpouring of sadness and shock on social media from those who said they are sad to see the company go.
"This news makes me so sad. I have been enjoying Aplets and Cotlets for over 50 years," one person wrote on Facebook.
" I personally have enjoyed your different Candy products since childhood and I am now in my 50s," another person wrote on the company's Facebook page. "They have always been a nice representation of the agricultural region of the best of Washington state."