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The hazelnut is the only type of nut grown commercially in the Fraser Valley, a region which boasts 15 certified organic hazelnut producers. Pentti Hanninen could ship all the nuts from his 75 acres to large processors and distributors in Oregon, as many of the other growers do, but instead he is dedicated to maintaining a year-round supply of whole and shelled nuts.
Pentti and Deborah are continuing a dream started 25 years ago by Henry Wigand, who planted a 60 acre orchard and built a processing facility that could dry, sort, hull and crack nuts in large. Henry passed away before his dream was fulfilled, but Pentti and Deborah, already veteran nut growers, have pursued it in his stead. They expanded his business, even using the facility to process nuts from other organic hazelnut growers. At their store in Agassiz, you will not only find hazelnut oil and hazelnut flour, but also fresh nut butters and a variety of hazelnut candies.