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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads