view current print edition




Tommy K racing the information highway

PHILADELPHIA — Enthusiastic about the opportunities of the information highway, Tom Kovacevich III, is speeding in the fast lane. Mr. Kovacevich, generally known as “Tommy K,” is general manager of T.M. Kovacevich-Philadelphia Inc.

On March 2, he released a “Best Fruit Now 1.0.0” app for iPhones. The “Best Fruit Now” website for the app is The same app for Android smart phones will soon be on the market. The work was done with technical consulting from Mr. Kovacevich’s partner, Séamus Devitt.

The app targets consumers and the trade. For consumers, it offers buying tips that are updated monthly on do’s and don’ts in purchasing fresh produce. For the trade, Mr. Kovacevich spent three years developing a glossary of more than 300 fresh fruit and vegetable varieties.

“There are 100 varieties of apples, alone,” he said. “It is all written by me in plain language.” The glossary is within the app and is called “Scoops.”

The app sells for $1.99. Mr. Kovacevich said that his royalty on sales is a third of the price. The other two-thirds are split between Mr. Devitt and Apple. He expects to never receive a return on his time and creative investment, but he still views the project as very productive.

“I love technology, and this is fun for me to do,” he said. “I have had incredible feedback. I get e-mails all the time. There is a section where other people can contribute,” which gives growers and others a chance to add new information to the glossary.

Mr. Kovacevich started building his produce glossary as he walked on his treadmill every morning.

“I got tired of watching the news,” he explained. Instead, he set up a laptop computer on his treadmill and made productive use of his time.