The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 14, 2012

Produce expert grows own business

MUNDYS CORNER — More than half of Americans dream of owning a business, but fewer than one in

100 actually will realize that dream.

After 30 years of working for someone else, Thomas Adams decided his time had come.

“I wanted to go on my own and be my own boss,” Adams said.

Adams spent three decades in the produce business. He knew fresh fruits and vegetables as well as, if not better than, most in the industry. What he didn’t know was the fine art of operating a business.

For that, he turned to Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI).

“JARI provided me with the fundamental knowledge I needed to get started. I got a lot of ideas and learned some of the business aspects that I didn’t know,” he said.

Folks who travel Route 271 north of Johnstown through Mundys Corner may be familiar with Adams Country Market. The 1,800-square-foot building sits near the Route 22 overpass. What they may not know is that many schoolchildren find Adams’ produce on their lunch trays every day at school, and many of the meals at local restaurants include the market’s choice fruits and vegetables.

“When I first opened, I was just going to open up a little fruit market,” Adams said  with a chuckle. “I had not planned on doing any deliveries, but before long I had a bunch of customers that wanted me to deliver to them, so it just exploded from there. Now we probably have 150 different accounts that we deliver to.”

Started in 2007, Adams Country Market has grown from one employee to 10 and serves customers in Cambria, Somerset, Blair, Centre and Jefferson counties. In addition to wholesale and retail sales of produce, the market added fresh flowers to its list of products.

“We operate year-round. We have Christmas trees and wreaths and hanging baskets for Mother’s Day and flats of flowers for planting. This has been a colossal growth area for us,” Adams said.

The market is in the process of building a larger greenhouse.

“The old greenhouse was 50 (feet) by 16 (feet). The new one is 50 (feet) by 24 (feet). That’s another 400 square feet, and it’s twice as high, so it will hold five to six times more product.”

In this day of high-speed Internet, social networking and mobile apps, Adams relies solely on word of mouth from satisfied customers to market his business, and he likes it that way.

Asked about the prospect of developing a website, Adams said that’s not something that interests him.

His approach to keeping and adding customers is more traditional: Give people what they want and they’ll be back for more.

* Fourth part of a weeklong series highlighting local entrepreneurs.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

  • Katie and Gary Lamer Birthday remembrance bash provides aid to region

    It’s been four years since Johnstown resident Gary Lamer died of complications from pneumonia, but his memory lives on through an annual party that gives back in a big way.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads