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Cracking New Markets

Ambition keeps Antonucci’s expanding

January 31, 2010
By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Wally Hart was at a function in Albany when, after finding out he came from Gloversville, a woman there told him that her husband owned a restaurant and got its produce from a business here.

The name, however, escaped her.

"Antonucci's," he said, and the woman immediately confirmed it.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
George DeSantis, a seafood specialist at Antonucci’s Produce and Seafood of Gloversville, transfers a fresh lobster into a holding container at the business.

That drove the point home how well-known the city's produce and now seafood distributor is in this region of New York state.

For 27 years, Antonucci's has delivered produce to "restaurants, stores and institutions" in about a 100-mile radius of Gloversville, owner John Antonucci said.

Antonucci said the business has about 35 employees and a fleet of 16 trucks, one of which travels to Boston and New York City every day to accommodate the company's latest addition, a fully stocked seafood department.

Antonucci saw the opportunity to take the business into the fish market with the closing of Cousin's Seafood in Albany and decided that the addition was something the business could handle.

"It was always on my mind, but because Cousin's Wholesale Seafood went out of business a couple of months ago," Antonucci said. "I knew those guys for about 12 years, and through their integrity, I thought it was a perfect match for my operation, and I took advantage the opportunity."

The large investment includes up to 100 varieties of fish, which can be for sale either fresh or frozen. With new tanks, Antonucci can also stock up to 5,000 lobsters at a time.

Antonucci's also increased its truck fleet to 16 and picks up fish daily from Boston and New York City. While produce and seafood will be shipped together on the same trucks, Antonucci said seafood is kept in insulated bins to keep the two separate.

"They're looking at their business and asking, 'what can we do more for customers and be successful for us?'" Hart said. "As they grow and prosper, they can add more jobs. They should be very proud of their business."

Antonucci also hired seven additional workers, who include fish cutters George DeSantis and T.J. Ornsby to handle the new department. Antonucci said he took advantage of an opportunity to hire "two of the most talented people in the industry."

Hart said most people don't realize the extent of Antonucci's business and the effect it has on the community.

The seafood addition isn't the only change that's taking place at Antonucci's. Antonucci also said he plans to open a cash-and-carry operation starting Monday. He said local people will be able to call their orders in and Antonucci's staff will be packing the product.

Antonucci said that expansion to the business will give the public an opportunity to buy extremely fresh produce.

Hart said Antonucci's Produce and Seafood is one of the quiet businesses that most people know about but don't realize its importance in the community.

"They've made incredible investments over the last few years, bringing in equipment and other infrastructure and adding jobs," he said.



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