The Bitter, the Sweet

Liberty Orchards in Cashmere, Wash., which was founded by two Armenian immigrants, still makes Aplets

Let’s start with the sweet. Two friends, Armen Tertsagian and Mark Balaban, who had immigrated from Armenia in 1918, became fruit growers in Cashmere and co-owners Liberty Orchards. In 1945, at the conclusion of World War II, sugar rationing came to an end in the United States. Tersagian and Balaban recalled a sugar-dusted candy they had known in their childhood, a treat called rahat locoum. The English translation is Turkish Delight.

Now they had all the raw materials at hand to recreate their childhood treat: bountiful crops of gorgeous apples and apricots as well as sugar. For a couple of decades, they sold their confections, which they dubbed Aplets & Cotlets, at roadside stands in the Yakima Valley. Then came the World’s Fair in Seattle, and suddenly they found commercial success. Until now.

For the past three years the owners have tried to sell the business, to no avail. So they will simply close the doors on June 1st. That’s it. Buh-bye.