It looks like the century-old Liberty Orchards, maker of Aplets and Cotlets, will not wrap up business after all. A potential buyer is in negotiations to keep the business blooming.
Earlier this spring, Liberty announced it would cease operations in June after three fruitless years were spent trying to pick a buyer.
The core of the enterprise is the Turkish delight-influenced fruit snacks (“Aplets”). With extra apples, farmers had lots of apple surpluses, and they came up with the idea of mixing bits of apples and walnuts into sugar-coated gelatin cubes.
Cotlets later joined the offerings, made from apricots.
The Cashmere, Wash., company has been owned by Greg Taylor for over 40 years. He’s 72 and is wanting to retire to calmer pastures. His children have their own careers, and they aren’t interested in branching out into the snack business.
The candies themselves aren’t big sellers. They’re not really well-known outside the state. And their reputation to many people is like fruitcake: They either love ‘em or hate ‘em. But the good part is they are gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and vegan-friendly.
With the news of a new owner sprouting, about 55 workers’ jobs will be saved. That’s pretty…a-peeling.
— Story and photos by David Carlos
Mountlake Terrace resident David Carlos often submits photos and videos profiling interesting places nearby