About Us

gene cohen

 Our Roots

The Nut Factory started in 1952 using a unique copper pot roasting process.

We roasted peanuts for wholesale produce companies like Safeway on the Ide Street Produce Market in Spokane, Washington.  

The wholesalers distributed the peanuts to the produce departments in grocery stores.   

As years passed we began roasting other nuts and seeds and we started making many other products. The product line evolved over the next 66 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 snack food factory.


We also sell the public directly through our web site.   After many years having a brick and mortar public store, we have moved to a web based business offfering the public fresly roasted products directly from our plant.
We are a specialty snack food manufacturer.    We select the finest nuts we can buy.    We import import nuts and seeds from many places and process them in our plant.   
We roast nuts and seeds, dice, slice, chocolate, toffee, make trail mixes, and nut mixtures.   We also package many products for distribution.    

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 had 10 products - mostly nuts.
90% of our sales were in peanuts - the remainder were almonds, cashews, and other nuts.

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.

We added roasted sunflower kernels for the salad bars that were just becoming popular in groceries and restaurants.

Slicing and dicing nuts were in demand and we began doing these processes too.

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. 
Home bakeries became 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 - buy worldwide

"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 photographed and mailed a brilliantly colored holiday gift catalog in time for gift selecting during the holidays.
We did this for at least 25 years.
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.

Now times have changed and all this is on the web - goodbye mailed catalogs....

Our New Factory - 1998-2014

In 1998 we completed building a new plant and factory store on Interstate 90.  For the next 16 years we were very public with a Factory store.  
In 2015 that building was sold and the firm relocated into a purely industrial building.
We stopped retail sales (except for web) and went completely commercial - like our early years roots....
In the past few years we have been swamped with wholesale commercial accounts.  
That growth has much potential and we have returned to a much more industrialize form of business, moving from a brick and mortar store model to a web based store.
Our web site still allows the public to buy their favorite items.







Sugar Cooking

In May, 2000 we added chocolate panning processes to our production...

And we also started sugar cooking - a wonderful addition to our processing area.


We also added large sugar cooking processes.

Sugar production allows us to produce many important products that we can us to expand our selections.

For example, it is the way we make toffees, brittles, toffee centers for chocolate coating, marshmallow, and caramel for clusters and turtles.


Sugar cooking also is the entry into making another 45 products such as chocolate espresso beans, chocolate jelly beans, chocolate almonds, and chocolate candy buttons.

chocolate panningand sugar cooking became a necessary addition to our production since our customer base uses many pounds of these items every year.


Chocolate Tempering, Clustering and Molding


 We own two European Chocolate tempering/molding wheels.


chocolate tempering wheels



The chocolate melts in each holding tank.  

We temper the chocolate coventure to exact temperatures.

Then we can fill molds, form clusters, or coatmany products 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.

These would include chocolate easter bunnies, chocolate soccer balls, and many more life theme items that people love to buy as a gift.


We used to use these chocolate specialty items primarily in our factory store and they were very popular.

People love to watch them through viewing windows in our factory store.


Enrobing Chocolates

Covering nuts, fruits, and other items in pure chocolate is done in a process called enrobing. 

We carry many enrobed items in our product line such as chocolate and white chocolate pretzels. 

The Nut Factory has grown into a large snack food manufacturer offering a diverse collection of these products

Our Current Markets Are.... 

There are fewer and fewer firms like us each year.   it takes a lot of capital and expertise to produce quality products.  

We ship over 450 products to businesses everywhere.   

Our prices are reasonable - just like you would expect from a factory.