St. John River: Fries to Go
Fast food for the world
The Saint John River wanders through New Brunswick's best potato-growing
country. Inside a modern processing plant at Florenceville, tonnes of potatoes
are washed, peeled by steam, sliced, cooked, and frozen.
The frozen french fries are packaged and loaded into freezer trucks for delivery to restaurants
and food stores across Canada.
In 1957, two brothers, Wallace and Harrison McCain, used $100,000 of their inheritance of
the McCain family seed potato business to build their first frozen french fry plant. Today,
from its world headquarters in Florenceville, the company operates 50 processing plants on
four continents. The geographical expansion of its operations around the world has been accompanied
by a mushrooming of its product line to include vegetables, pizza, desserts, fiddleheads,
and other foods.
The company's success demonstrates how the right mix of local resources, modern technology,
and ambition can bring prosperity to entrepreneurs and their communities.
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