The owners of Black River Produce in Proctorsville have been named second runners-up for National Small Business Person of the Year award. Steve Birge, who co-owns Black River with Mark Curran, attended the awards ceremony this week at the U.S. Small Business Administration annual conference in Orlando, Florida.
Birge and Curran were named Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year in March. Birge started Black River Produce in 1978 with Curran, whom he met while hitchhiking. The company now has annual sales of $27 million, employs 140 and uses a fleet of about 35 refrigerated trucks and two tractor trailers.
They sell fruits, vegetables, seafood, trees and shrubs to grocery stores, schools, restaurants, hospitals and ski areas.