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A Family Operation

Terleckeys share duties at Karen’s Produce

April 17, 2011
By MIKE ZUMMO , The Leader Herald

GLEN - Stephen Terleckey turned 72 years old April 10.

For him, his wife, Karen, and his five children, the day takes on a second significance. It's also the day the family business, Karen's Produce and Ice Cream, opens to the public each year, no matter what day of the week it falls on.

"[Opening day] is always Dad's birthday," said Sherry O'Brien, one of the Terleckys' five children.

Article Photos

Karen’s Produce and Ice Cream Manager Deanna Nelson hands a customer an ice cream cone Tuesday.

The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo

The Terleckeys have owned Karen's Produce & Ice Cream for 20 years, ever since Stephen and Karen approached their children with the prospect of purchasing the farm stand that was formally known as Dufel Scho-Mo Farm.

The ice cream and produce stand is at the foot of the 113-acre property, according to the Montgomery County Real Property Tax Service. On the other 111 acres, the family grows fruits and vegetables, such as corn, strawberries, pumpkins, and tomatoes among other things that are sold not only at the onsite produce stand, but also at various farmer's markets throughout Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties.

The family's farming background dates back to the 1800s in the Ukraine.

"I'm a farmer at heart for more than 50 years," Stephen Terleckey said.

According to O'Brien, Terleckey was certain he could handle the farming component of the former Dufel Scho-Mo Farm, but he wasn't sure he could take over the ice cream portion.

"He came to all of us and asked if that was something we think we could do," she said. "We all hopped in and we all do our different things on a daily basis."

Deanna Nelson, another of the Terleckeys' five children, manages the ice cream and produce stand, while the rest of the family does various things that need doing around the stand and the farm.

Also available at the produce stand are a variety of homemade foods.

Another order of business was to change the name after taking it over. It was Terleckey's idea to name it after his wife, Karen, and their five children all agreed to it.

"She's the one that keeps us all together," O'Brien said. "She is definitely the rock. She keeps us all very close and we've always been a close-knit family."

In January, Karen's was honored by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce with the annual agriculture award.

"As an agricultural business, they are really comprehensive," chamber President Deborah Auspelmyer said. "They're the producers and they sell the product, so there's the locally grown component. Plus, they're out at the farmers markets. They're marketing agriculture."

Despite appearing to stand alone to motorists, Karen's Produce, located on Route 5S, just west of the border with the town of Florida, is a short distance from the bicycle path, Fort Hunter and Schoharie Crossing.

Auspelmyer calls it a "convenient place to stop."

The chamber plans to hold a business mixer there July 28, exposing other chamber members to Karen's products and services.

"I'm very proud of where we were and where we are and hope it continues on that scale," Terleckey said.

Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at



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