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Spicing up downtown

New employer provides merchants in Gloversville with customers

August 30, 2009
By KAYLEIGH KARUTIS, The Leader-Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - With the arrival of King TeleServices and its approximately 1,200 employees to the downtown area, businesses nearby are excited about the prospect of so many people flooding the streets and, hopefully, their establishments.

"It's going to be a real shot in the arm for downtown," said Chris Curro, manager of the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market on Main Street.

The workers, who are mostly call agents, will work part-time and during three shifts when the facility opens in September. It's located in the same plaza as the Peking Chinese Restaurant on Church Street. Owner Jenny Jiang said she expects more business as workers begin their employment at King.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Kayleigh Karutis

Chef Lomanto’s Market and Catering Executive Chef John P. Lomanto is shown working in his kitchen in Gloversville on Wednesday.

"I'm excited about it," she said. "It'll help. Right now we've had a little more customers but I think we'll get more [once they open]."

Training for the approximately 900 call agents that have been hired began this week, while supervisors trained there last week. Officials at the business needed 90 lunches a day for that week, and they called John P. Lomanto, executive chef at Chef Lomanto's Market and Catering, to provide the meals.

"It was great. It really helped me out immensely," Lomanto said. "That's $4,500 dollars worth of lunch. I wish I could do it every week."

Lomanto said he is looking forward to serving King TeleServices employees once the business opens.

"We'll have a deal where they can call in prior and then swing in for a pick up, or if there is a group we can deliver it to them," he said.

Once the facility opens, he said he hopes employees think of his establishment as a place to take their lunch.

"I'm praying they'll take their lunch here," he said.

Andrew Johnston, owner of the Open Window Gift Shop and Cafe, said his business is planning to make a special promotion directed toward King employees.

"We'll be doing a hand-out to raise awareness of what's nearby in downtown, where they can stop to get something to eat or drink," he said. "The exposure to having all that traffic downtown will be very helpful."

Johnston said the traffic will help all the businesses located downtown because many local residents don't drive through the center of the city on a regular basis.

"It's not part of their daily routine so they aren't aware of what's going on," he said. "To have 1,000 plus people coming in and out of downtown is really going to help."

Railyard Restaurant Owner Don Blanchard said he catered a supervisors' training completion party at King TeleServices last week.

"It was an event for 70, so it was a nice party to cater," he said.

Blanchard said a lot of the management officials at King have been stopping in for lunch or dinner. He added the staff there got a significant "to go" order just a few nights ago - about 15 full dinners. He said he welcomes the additional traffic.

"As far as we're concerned, we welcome every new business that comes to Gloversville," he said.

King TeleServices Project Manager Cody Anderson said he plans on spending his lunches in downtown and anticipates a lot of other King employees will as well.

"I'm a regular at the Railyard, Subway and [Peking Chinese Restaurant]," he said. "I think [King employees] will be spreading the wealth."

Kayleigh Karutis covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at



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