Zelienople Entrepreneur's Work Ethic Ensured Success

Article excerpt

When Salama Adham, an immigrant from Iraq, arrived in the United States in 1954, he couldn't speak a word of English and had little money.

He worked his way through high school and college, and graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, in 1960. Mr. Adham, at various times, owned and operated 10 Shop 'n Save grocery store franchises in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

"My husband had a terrific outlook on life," said his wife, Suzanne Arnold Adham, whom he met when they were students at Kent State.

"Sal understood that in this country, you can achieve your goals if you're willing to sacrifice and work hard."

Salama Adham of Zelienople died on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, in UPMC Presbyterian, Oakland. He was 75.

Suzanne Adham recalled that when her husband acquired his first Shop 'n Save franchise in Zelienople, he would put in a 16-hour day at the store and be up early the next morning to help unload the produce truck.

"Sal was 19 years old when he arrived in the United States in 1954," said his wife. "He couldn't speak a word of English and enrolled in Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio, where he completed high school in two years.

Suzanne Adham said her husband would work in area grocery stores while in high school and college.

"Sal even worked on a garbage truck during the summer months when he was off from school," she added.

"It was this training, his warm and gracious personality and his ability to meet a customer's needs that enabled Sal to eventually to go into business for himself," his wife added.

"I can still remember how on a Christmas Day, Sal received a call from a customer who wasn't pleased with a ham that he bought at Sal's store. …