Editor's note: this is the first in a series of stories about locally owned and operated businesses in Brazil. Watch for this series in the Monday Brazil Times.
In a world where big corporations rule business and dollars are the bottom line, it's good to see that there are still "little guys" fighting... and winning.
Fred Adamson and his wife Marjorie are two of those people. The Adamsons, who own a dry-cleaning plant and two coin laundromats, have been in business for over 50 years. Along with their businesses, they have two drop-off points: One in Greencastle and one in Rockville.
Times have been hard occasionally, and there is the occasional break down, but all-in-all life is good for the Adamsons, according to Fred.
"Sometimes it seems like something goes wrong every day with the machines," he said. "Motors burn up, bearings go out, no one thing is the worst, but they can all be pretty bad, especially if they hit at the right time."
Most disasters around his workplace revolve around malfunctioning machines, in fact. Motors burning up, he said, are the most expensive malfunctions there are in his business.
In the beginning, Fred farmed while his wife handled the laundromat business. That got to be too tiresome, however, and he had to choose "one or the other" eventually. He went with the business.
Not that he didn't have good help. When he first started up, a couple of friends helped him get to where he is today. The friends, Ina Stinson and Betty Pell, assisted the Adamsons with their business for a good while.
Today he employs "only," as he puts it, 17 people, though in the past he has had up to 25 persons working for him. A good staff, he says, is integral to a good business, and he has been lucky enough to have both over the years.
"I've been blessed with high-quality people who care about what their work looks like," he said. "You have to treat people nicely or you get no business, and I've been fortunate to have nice people working for me."
As far as being the proprietor of a locally-owned business, Adamson said that he is proud to be "one of the few businesses that have started 50 years ago and still stand today" and of "the present business and what it has grown into."
"Because of quality people, customers and employees, we have worked out over the years," he said.