The Nut Factory

The Nut Factory started in 1952 using a unique copper pot roasting process. We roasted peanuts for wholesale produce companies. They distributed the peanuts to the produce departments of grocery stores. We originally were located at the far east end of the Ide Street Produce Market in Spokane, Washington.

As years passed we began roasting other nuts and seeds and making many other products. The product line evolved over the next 51 years.

The Nut Factory has grown into a large snack food manufacturer. We ship over 450 products to businesses everywhere, throughout the United States. Our prices are reasonable - just like you would expect from a factory. Cash N Carry Direct

We also sell the public directly through our factory store and web site, and through our catalogs. There are over 1,000 products in our factory store. During the holidays we increase that to over 1,600 selections. This part of our business has grown and grown as we increase our following of satisfied customers. E-Commerce We have a very active web presence with this 420 page web site that has over 12,000 hits a day. Our firm fills and ships over 3,000 web orders a year. Our Basic Business We are a prime importer of nuts and seeds to process in our plant. We seek out the finest nuts and candies world wide, import them, roast the nuts to perfection in our own processing plant and package in a wide variety of ways. How It All Started Back in 1952, Herman Swartz began roasting peanuts at the Ide Street Produce Market in Spokane, Washington. He used two large old-fashioned Burns coffee roasting ovens. The company flourished as "the" supplier of in-shell peanuts to grocery stores, farm granges and all sorts of businesses. The Early 1970's

In the early 1970's things started changing. After 20 years exclusively roasting nuts, it became apparent that further processing of nuts was important. Slicing and dicing nuts were in demand. The rise of the bakery was a phenomenon on the 1970's. As families traded the kitchen for buying bread at the grocers the whole market changed. People began buying sweet rolls and danishes for their breakfast. Bakery pastries became a craze. Bakers loved to garnish rolls with diced, sliced and roasted nuts. The mealtime dessert also became important. Candy makers and ice cream stores began attracting crowds who loved confectioneries topped with diced, sliced and roasted nuts. Our Early Packages - the 1970's In the early years, we offered our product line in 25 pound bulk boxes. In the late 1970's, we began packaging in smaller sizes. The most popular package was our one pound line. For years, this package was displayed in grocery and drug stores. Farm granges sold our cashews along with farm supplies. Outdoor sporting goods stores added this snack line to their fishing and hunting displays to attract customers. And baking nuts were important to small variety stores, catering to family needs. Packaged nuts were part of the typical American household. The Healthy Early 1980's
By the late 1970's, groceries had started to carry bulk foods. Restaurants were using sunflower kernels in their salad bar. Bakeries used seeds in their healthy breads. Generic was a popular trend. Low price was gaining momentum. At the same time, we began importing dried bananas, pineapple, papaya, mangos and apricots. This was all new to the public. First, backpackers mixed the fruits and nuts together. This was called "gorp" - good old raisins and peanuts. This led to an explosion of combination products using nuts and fruits. Then, health food stores started offering different combinations. The bulk bins were the most popular on the northeast and northwestern United States, where people spent lots of time on outdoor activities. At The Nut Factory, we have created our own unique line of specialty nut mixes. International Rice Crackers - the early 1980's world

"Going global" was the cry of the mid 1980's. In 1982, we tried new crackers in our mixtures. Everybody was trying out new ideas. Because they are popular, for the last ten years, we have been importing and using these oriental rice crackers in our mixtures.

The mid 1980's

We started distributing chocolates and dried fruits in the hectic mid 1980s. Mothers sent children off to school with pre-bought lunches. The rapid explosion of snack products was all part of a faster life style. Ease and simplicity were a sign of an affluent society.

The Fun 1990's

People wanted a nostalgic look back in time to a much simpler past. Everybody wanted old-fashioned candies, so we stocked toffees, brittles, glazed nuts, licorices and jellies to meet this need. Expanding Our Business Reach- Our Product Catalog and Holiday Gift Catalog Every year since 1981, we have photographed and mailed a brilliantly colored holiday gift catalog in time for gift selecting during the holidays. We feature dozens of our finest products, elegantly packaged in attractive lithographed tins, which are produced for us in Europe and Asia. In the last few years we have also produced a product catalog. Drop us a note if you want us to send you our Product Catalog or a Gift catalog. Better yet, just call us toll free at: (888) 239-5288

Our New Factory - 1999

We completed building a new plant and factory store on Interstate 90 in 1999. see new Factory. by clicking and dropping in to see the pictures. This new plant has been a wonderful addition for our business People love seeing us make products as they look through the viewing windows into the production rooms in the plant. We have a large factory store in front of the plant that has over 1,000 items for people to buy and enjoy!

Sugar Cooking

A wonderful addition to our processing area is the ability to sugar cook. Sugar makes many important things that we can use. For example, it is the way we make toffees, brittles, toffee centers for chocolate coating, marshmallow, and caramel for clusters and turtles.

Panning Chocolates
In May, 2000 we added paning processes to our production. . This allows us to make another 45 products such as chocolate espresso beans, jelly beans, chocolate almonds, and chocolate buttons. It is a necessary addition to our production since we use tens of thousands of pounds of these items every year. Molding Chocolates Perfect molding.jpg (178258 bytes) We own two European Chocolate tempering/molding wheels. The chocolate melts in each holding tank and we temper the chocolate coventure to exact temperatures. Then we can fill molds or coat items in pure chocolate. The addition to the plant's capacity allows us to make a large number of chocolate molded items for the novelty trade such as chocolate easter bunnies, chocolate soccer balls, and many more life theme items that people love to buy as a gift. We use them primarily in our factory store and they are very popular. People love to watch them through viewing windows in our factory store.

Enrobing Chocolates

In 2002 we added a chocolate enrobing line. This will allow us to flood chocolate over many items such as pretzels, toffees, and brittle. You can see the process by going to our chocolate enrobing page.

Check out our premium gift line at