"The Black River food show is the premier food show in the area – it features the crème de la crème of local food artisans. From the magnificent menagerie of hand crafted cheeses to the variety of vegan specialties the show is a foodie’s dream." -Henry, Colby Sawyer College
“We really liked coming to a show that features so many of the local products that we use” - Richard Jarmusz, Fletcher Allen Hospital
“Your show is the kind of show we love to attend” - Sandi Earle, Champlain College
"Your food show is the only one anybody should go to" - Andy, Shelburne Bay Senior Living
Founders Steve Birge and Mark Curran met on the ski slopes of Vermont in the late 1970s. The two forged the idea for a new business that would fill a big gap in the local market—they would supply the area with quality, fresh fruits and vegetables. They started Black River Produce with $600 between them and a used VW bus with the slogan “Give Peas a Chance” painted on the side.
Mark and Steve took turns driving the van to the Boston wholesale market for fresh produce for their retail store and made stops at southern Vermont farms on the way. To help fill their van at the produce market, they contacted a few local restaurants for orders. Local chefs spread the word and within a year, Steve and Mark were supplying more than 30 restaurants.
Today, Black River Produce has more than 2000 wholesale customers, including stores, schools, restaurants, clubs, camps, ski areas, hospitals, nursing homes and farm stands throughout Vermont, most of New Hampshire, and parts of New York and Massachusetts. The old VW bus has evolved into a fleet of refrigerated trucks. In 1996, the business expanded to include fresh and frozen seafood as well as cut flowers.
Moving into the next chapter of its history, Black River Produce has relocated to a new state-of-art-facility in North Springfield to accommodate its growth.