The moment you step in the door of an Adams Fairacre Farms, a sumptuous, colorful array of produce is spread before you, fresh scents mingling in the air with an enticing whiff of fresh baked goods, stretching for yards and yards: piles of hand-selected fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, greens, mushrooms, potatoes, squashes, root vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, and more, each variety marked by a sign that usually features nutrition and handling tips.
You’ll want to linger a bit, but get ready, because it’s just the beginning: there’s a stocked garden center just beyond the veggies, and…is that a candy shop? And you’ve still barely scratched the surface of this enchanting place. There’s a butcher shop, an array of fresh-caught fish and seafood, aisles of groceries stocked with imported foods and ingredients from a veritable United Nations’ worth of countries, with local specialties proudly holding their own amongst them, and an extensive, fragrant bakery.
This market is an experience to be savored—so don’t worry if it takes some time to explore.A selection of house-made prepared foods—chicken wings, assorted cooked vegetables, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, stuffed cabbage, baked or poached salmon, and more— awaits you at the hot bars.
There are so many reasons we love our Hudson Valley, but near the top of the list is having an Adams Fairacre Farms nearby.
There’s no need to cook when you get home and are pleasantly exhausted from shopping; a team helmed by an executive- level chef has you covered. There are so many reasons we love our Hudson Valley, but near the top of the list is having an Adams Fairacre Farms nearby— which most people do, now that they have stores in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh, Wappinger and Middletown. Each store is just a bit different, reflecting local tastes, but the quality standards are uniform— and in every Adams Fairacre Farms, the produce is the first thing you’ll see.
That’s not just because it’s so pretty: It’s because the Adams team never forgets their roots, which are solidly grounded in the Hudson Valley’s rich soil and agricultural heritage.
It was 1919 when Ralph and Mary Rogers Adams bought their 50 acres on Pleasant Valley Road in Poughkeepsie and planted their first crop. By the 1920s, they were a regular sight at the town’s central market in Clinton Square, where chefs and grocers sought their supplies.
In 1932, the family—which now included Diana, Dorothy, Ralph Jr., and Daniel—opened their first roadside stand on a dirt road that would grow to become Route 44, helping keep the neighborhood fed and healthy through the Great Depression.
Adams Fairacre Farms is an experience to be savored—so don’t worry if it takes some time to explore.
The 1940s would be a decade of adventures. Dorothy was crowned Miss Apple Blossom Queen in 1941. Ralph Jr., aka Ralph R., earned his pomology degree from Cornell in 1944 and served in the Army Air Corps, coming home to marry his college sweetie Doris. Meanwhile, his sister Diana was serving in England and France with the Office of Strategic Services.
While each Adams Fairacre Farms is a tiny bit different, there’s even more that all five share: meticulous sourcing, careful hiring and thorough training, and keeping absolutely everything pretty, tidy, and up-to-the-minute fresh.
The first “Adams Market” full-on farmstand was constructed, but it was decided that it sounded a bit conceited, so the wooden sign was changed to read “Fairacre Farm.” The family began offering pick-your-own berries and pumpkins, and purchased more acreage—orchards in Salt Point that grew apples and peaches. (When Ralph R. married Doris in ‘46, they celebrated by purchasing another apple orchard.) By the time Ralph Senior passed in 1957, he’d seen those first hopeful seeds mature into a strong sapling. And when Ralph R. and Donald took the reins, they built a fine new store—garage-style doors kept the open-air feel, and fresh local milk and eggs were added to the produce along with some gardening basics and fresh-cut Christmas trees in season.
They prospered, and the ‘60s were another decade full of firsts and expansions: a full garden center in 1962, a landscaping division in 1965. By the 1970s, the family was growing fruit and produce on 200 acres; Adams Fences became the logical extension of Adams Landscaping in 1974, and in 1977, the Adams Country Foods division added the first delicatessen, cheeses, and gourmet groceries. The following year, Ralph’s son Mark and his wife Sue would launch the first greenhouse.
When the Kingston store was opened in 1981, the brothers realized they hardly had the time to farm, and leaned into sourcing the best from local growers. In 1987, a power equipment division was added to the Poughkeepsie-based landscape and fencing department; in 1988, a major remodel at the original store added a butcher shop, seafood, and a flower shop. In 1992, Kingston expanded to include meat, seafood, a bakery, and an expanded garden center, along with a nursery yard and houseplant greenhouse. And in 1998, the family opened its third location in Newburgh, featuring a salad bar, prepared foods, more gourmet groceries, and the first sweet shop. The sweet shop and prepared foods were added to Kingston and Poughkeepsie in the early 2000s; the Wappinger store opened in 2011, and a major renovation in Newburgh in 2016 added a fresh mozzarella factory (the brand is carried in every Adams) and a pizza shop.
The fifth store, in Middletown, just opened its doors last June. And while each Adams Fairacre Farms is a tiny bit different in response to local customers’ preferences, there’s even more that all five share: meticulous sourcing (you can read about 16 of their growing partners under “Our Local Farmers” on their website), careful hiring and thorough training of their 1,700-strong workforce, and keeping absolutely everything pretty, tidy, and up-to-the-minute fresh. (Seafood, for example, is delivered every morning except Sunday, and fish is cut in-store for maximum freshness. Hamburger is ground in-store.)
Employees in each department are subject-matter experts, well-versed in the products they sell and happy to share nutrition insights and handling instructions. The catering department has a vast selection of everything from breakfasts and sandwiches to entrees, platters, and appetizers. Need a whole turkey roasted? Would that be for pickup or delivery? (You can pick it up steaming hot.) And how about a fresh floral centerpiece to go with?
We haven’t even discussed the unique line of pet products, much less the old-timey feel of the Sweet Shop offerings, which of course include options to accommodate any dietary requirement or preference you may have, or the company website’s wealth of culinary and gardening tips, agricultural and nutrition wisdom, and mouth-watering recipes. But perhaps we’ve said enough to demonstrate why, as stated, we Hudson Valley denizens are thrilled and grateful that Ralph and Mary decided, over a century ago, to start a little farm and see how things went. Deliciously, that’s how—here’s to another century full of the freshest ideas around.
ADAMS FAIRACRE FARMS
Locations in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Wappinger, Newburgh,
and Town of Wallkill/Middletown