In 1970, Sam Anderson, owner of the Bay Road Fruit Stand across from the Atkins store, put his business up for sale and we purchased it that same year. In 1972, a major renovation transformed the original white, steel-beamed Atkins Fruit Bowl into a large, redwood, California style showplace. Before the renovation was quite done, David Thornton, previous comptroller, started working for us. David worked getting carts and bagging when he was just fifteen, and worked part-time through high school and then full-time when in college. Upon graduation from college, he was promoted to assistant manager.
After the addition/renovation was completed, the two retail roadside stand businesses were combined, and we then had an extensive selection of fresh produce in addition to our own apples, peaches and pears. We also added four new and valuable employees from the Bay Road Fruit Stand; Andy Tulenko (now deceased), John (now retired) and Paul Kosloski and Net Horne (now deceased). Andy was the key in moving the produce business from Anderson's to Atkins, and was produce manager for several years. John is the former produce manager and Paul is assistant produce manager. The 1972 renovation gave us room to bake more pies, and we started making the first cider donuts.
As the orchards in Belchertown produced more, a new storage and packing house was needed. This was constructed in 1977 and accommodated 90,000 bushels of apples, the wholesale office and a new cider mill. The apples raised by the farm at that time were sold about 80% wholesale and 20% through our retail store. Also, the farm was producing over 100,000 gallons of cider in a year. Both apples and cider were sold throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.