Adams Produce

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Adams Produce Co. LLC (formerly E. C. Adams & Co. and Adams Brothers Produce Company) was a fruit and produce wholesaler located at 302 Finley Avenue in Birmingham with distribution facilities serving Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Edwin Calvin Adams came to Birmingham in 1890 to establish a local branch of M. E. Wincoffe's wholesale fruit and vegetable business. He bought the local division in 1897 and established E. C. Adams & Co. which was formally incorporated in 1903. In the 1910s, Adams became a major supplier to Hill's Food Stores.

After Adams' death in 1930, his brothers bought out Mrs Adams' share and renamed the firm Adams Brothers Produce Company. The business supplied restaurants, schools and other institutions with fresh produce. In 1979 Adams Brothers acquired the former Tanner Brothers Produce Co. and other distributors, expanding into neighboring states. In 1999 the company became a partner in the FreshPoint national produce distribution network. In 2008 the company won a $7.6 million military contract helping it top $180 million in sales.

In 2010 CEO Scott Grinstead, CFO Steve Alexander and COO Steve Finberg partnered with CIC Partners hedge fund of Dallas, Texas to acquire the company from the Adams family. During 2011 the company allegedly began submitting falsified invoices for its military contracts. In Spring 2012, after amassing tens of millions of dollars in debts and missing weeks of payroll, Adams Produce ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A federal investigation resulted in criminal charges against numerous executives, most of whom pleaded guilty.

References

  • Hubbard, Russell (October 24, 2010) "Big changes for Birmingham-based Adams Produce." The Birmingham News
  • Faulk, Kent (April 30, 2012) "Birmingham-based Adams Produce files for bankruptcy." The Birmingham News
  • Hubbard, Russell (May 4, 2012) "Plight of terminated Adams Produce workers emerges at hearing." The Birmingham News
  • Faulk, Kent (June 10, 2014) "Adams Produce timeline: Slow rise and quick fall of a long-time Birmingham company." The Birmingham News