SBDC Hall of Fame

Potsdam Agway

Daryl Kolanko

Daryl Kolanko
Potsdam Agway
Canton SBDC

Potsdam Agway has been a focal point in Northern New York for more than 40 years, serving the agriculture needs of the community by providing farm products, animal feed, and more recently, lawn and garden products, plants and supplies, and pet foods and supplies. 

In 1999, Agway Inc. decided to sell 160 retail stores, including several stores in St. Lawrence County.  Daryl Kolanko, an individual with a strong sense of community, was determined to save the Potsdam store. Soon after Agway Inc. made their announcement, Daryl called the Canton SBDC. He and Business Adviser Dale Rice developed a complete business proposal and began the search for funding.  Convincing lenders to finance a business that Agway Inc. deemed unattractive was no easy task; many were skeptical that a farm and garden store could prosper.  However, Daryl was able to convince his bank, the North Country Alliance, Potsdam Local Development Fund, NYBDC and the SBA that his tremendous leadership and management skills were a good risk.

The Potsdam Agway was a cornerstone of the local economy for several years and thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of Daryl Kolanko, it is still there. While other retailers closed and left the area Daryl's store continues to thrive and employ more than 14 North County citizens.  Daryl is an active member of the community and proactive in his attempts to improve the economy and standard of living in Potsdam and the surrounding area.