Once known as the “Glove and Leather Capital of the World,” Fulton County’s earliest industry involved tanning, leather and glove making. Johnstown and Gloversville were long called the Glove Cities and had more than 300 leather companies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At one time, more than half the nation’s gloves and more than 90 percent of its fine leather gloves were made in Fulton County.
Today, there are only about a dozen leather companies left in the area, and they have found creative new ways to work with leather to stay in business. Townsend Leather, for example, was founded in 1969 as a producer of gloves and jackets, but it now makes upholstery leather for aircraft, yachts and automobiles.
Meanwhile, Carville National Leather Corp. (established in 1967) has changed its focus from glove making to producing leathers for footwear and upholstery and leather tiles for floor and wall coverings.
Shopping in Downtown Johnstown and Gloversville
Shopping in downtown Johnstown and Gloversville is a charming experience, with entrepreneurs offering artisan goods and locally made products. Famous glovemaker Daniel Storto sells wool jersey gloves for about $10 a pair from his Gloversville glove shop, where he also fashions gloves for celebrities including Madonna and Celine Dion.
You can also find bakeries, florists, jewelers and bookstores in downtown Johnstown and Gloversville.
Fulton County Food Manufacturers
Fulton County’s strong dairy farming business is attractive to food manufacturers such as Greek yogurt maker FAGE, which located its first U.S. operation in the Johnstown Industrial Park. The increasingly popular yogurt is made from simple ingredients – milk and yogurt cultures with no additives – and is flying off grocery shelves nationwide.
Johnstown was also the location of choice for Euphrates Inc., a national feta cheese manufacturer launched by Turkish-born Hamdi Ulukaya. Ulukaya attended a New York college in the 1990s and, after being dissatisfied with the quality of America’s feta cheese, opened his own factory to make feta from his own family’s recipe. Today, his company makes and distributes more than 25,000 pounds of feta cheese every day from a 42,000-square-foot facility in Johnstown Industrial Park.
Fulton County Interstates and Industrial Parks
Fulton County is accessed by two major interstates – Interstate 90 running east and west, and Interstate 87 running north and south – and is approximately 45 miles west of Albany International Airport.
The county’s three business parks are always a flurry of activity. Johnstown Industrial Park houses more than a dozen companies, including Wal-Mart Food Distribution, Wal-Mart Northeast Regional Return Center and Benjamin Moore Paints.
Crossroads Industrial Park is home to 11 companies, including a Top-Flite Golf Co. manufacturing facility, SYSCO Corp. and Dixon Valve. The newest of the three parks is Crossroads Business Park, which broke ground in 2005 and provides medical and professional office space.
Read about more businesses in Gloversville, NY.