In 1972 Tom Kojis planted the first acre of sweet corn with the help of his devoted father, Joe Kojis. As years went by, even with his Cerebral Palsy, Tom still continued to care for the carn, even if he couldn’t drive a tractor or physically pick their sweet corn. Despite his condition, he stayed very much involved in the planning of, caring for, and the selling process of their sweet corn. Years had gone by and Tom continued growing his amount of sweet corn, so much that he had to enlist the help of the local high schools boys and girls to help handpick their sweet corn. Along with the hiring to help pick corn, he also had some help in the selling of the sweet corn out of the bed of his father’s pickup, because due to his speech impediment he was unable to do so. The selling of sweet corn out of his father’s pickup truck was done two doors west of Meally Funeral Home, where it would continue to be sold for years to come.
In 1989 Tom began publishing a weekly newspaper in Waterford’s paper, which is also around the time his youngest brother, John, had taken over along with the help of his two children, Elizabeth and Steven. Although John stuck with the traditional ways of the business- hand picking the sweet corn, and selling in the same area, he also decided new could beneficial and changed from yellow to bi-colored sweet corn.
In 2001 Tom joined his brother and together they formed Kojis Brothers Produce. Meanwhile Tom had found a wheelchair tough enough to hold up to his demands, so that he could help in their traditional ways of handpicking their sweet corn. Since getting together they have since expanded their produce for a more diverse selection, in addition to their sweet corn. A few years down the road Toms brothers had to leave their family business and Tom once again named the business back to Kojis Produce.
In 2005 Tom decided to explore his possibilities through a process he had heard through the grapevine called Community Supported Agriculture. It truly blossomed for him, as Kojis Produce sold 15 contracts which easily fed their family of 4.
Kojis Produce is also proud to announce their ability to donate over 3 tons of fresh vegetables to local food pantries in 2009, along with their ability to donate 11 thousand pounds to local food banks in 2010!
With 30+ years of traditional ways in handpicking their vegetables for you, Kojis Produce continues to serve their customers in Waterford and all surrounding areas. Tom and his family hope to see you stop by one of their three stands soon!