Building back

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

Charles Adams shares plans for his new store and studio

When Charles Adams sat and watched his glass studio go up in flames on Nov. 30, 2011, his thoughts were that he was witnessing the end of an era.

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Adams’ dad, Sam Adams, opened a roadside produce stand at the same location in 1953. Adams followed in his father’s footsteps and added his own footprint to the business in 1970.

“That place had been a part of my life for more than 60 years and I had to watch it go up in smoke,” Adams said. “My first thought was to build back, but then I thought better of it.”

However, his son, David Adams, who is also a glass artist, didn’t give his dad a choice.

“David said we had to build back,” Adams said. “And, that was that.”

The “build back” began in March and Adams, an optimist to a fault, was sure that the new Adams Glass Studio and Adams Nut Shop would open in grand style on the Fourth of July.

“We were supposed to open yesterday,” Adams said on the morning after the Fourth. “But it looks like now that it will be some time in the fall. Things are moving along and we’re using the basement as a studio. We don’t have any electricity down there, but it’s underground so it’s not all that hot.”

Every now and then, Adams takes a break from creating glass art, sits back and pictures the new studio/shop in his mind’s eye.

“It’s going to be a lot like it was when Sam had it,” he said, with a smile. “It’s going be new and it’s going to be nostalgic.”

The south side of the building will be Adams Nut Shop in honor and memory of Sam Adams, the family patriarch.

“We’re going to use old barn boards and rusty tin on that side of the building,” Adams said. “It will have the flavor of an old country store and have some of Sam’s old tricks. We’ll glue a quarter to the counter and have porcupine eggs for sale.

And, we’ll grow some square gourds and have them on display. We’ll sell boiled peanuts and pickled peanuts and eggs and, of course, pecans and watermelon – sometimes by the slice.”

Adams Glass Studio has long been known for its homemade candy, so Adams has designed the new store with the candy kitchen as a focal point.

“The candy kitchen will be in the center of the store,” he said. “It will have a ‘faux’ roof made from wood shingles that were left over from the roofing of the store that replaced the roadside stand.”

The candy kitchen will feature a large window where visitors can watch the candy being made and there will also be a shipping room where the Adams’ products can be packaged for shipping.

“I’ll have a working studio on that side of the store where people can stand and watch,” Adams said. “That’s where I’ll make the smaller pieces of glass art. The church windows will be made in the basement area of the store. We’ll also have a woodworking shop down there where we’ll make frames and other wood projects.”

On the north side of store will be the Adams Glass Studio showroom and it will be the “polished” area of the store.

“There, we’ll have a large showroom or gallery where we can showcase all of our glass art,” Adams said. “The new store will be 3,000 square feet smaller than the old store, but it will be more convenient and it will be a more customer-friendly place.”

And, at times when he’s not too busy, Adams will take a break and join “guests” on the front porch. As they sit and rock, he’ll pull out Sam’s bag of tricks and maybe tell a joke or two.

Then, it will be just like old times at the Adams’ place on Highway 231.