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A&E >  Food

Nut Factory will close store, production site along I-90

The Nut Factory, a fixture along Interstate 90 for years, will close its retail and production site and move its wholesale operations to a nearby commercial warehouse.

Owner Gene Cohen said the Spokane Valley site, at 19425 E. Broadway Ave., will be closed in the next few weeks. He didn’t disclose where the wholesale commercial production will be relocated. He also declined to say how the changes will affect his labor force.

“I never tell how many workers we have. We have competitors,” he said.

The plan is to sell nuts and snack foods online and through other retailers, Cohen said. The business website will list more than 400 food items.

“It’s time to change. This business is vastly changing, like everything else,” he said.

“The trend going on is that operating a simple brick-and-mortar retail store is not as attractive” as it once was, Cohen added.

Plus, he’s now 73 years old, and it’s time to rethink how much energy he puts into the company, he said.

The company was founded in 1953 as Triangle Nut Co. by Herman Swartz and had its original building on Ide Street near downtown. Cohen bought the business in 1979. He moved it from downtown to the then-new Valley building in 1999.

While he’s eliminating his retail store, Cohen said the business is expanding sales outside the United States. “We are seeing increasing sales in that area,” he said.

The 15,000-square-foot building just south of I-90 is listed for sale for about $2 million, he said. It includes about 4,000 square feet of retail space and a large window allowing customers to view the production process in the adjoining room.

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