MILBRIDGE, Maine — In 1874, Jasper Wyman launched a sardine cannery on the coast of Downeast Maine. Today, 150 years later, his enterprise has flourished into one of the world’s leading growers and purveyors of wild blueberries, the largest retail brand of frozen fruit, and a major employer in rural Downeast Maine, still owned by the fourth generation of the Wyman family.
“We’re extremely proud to celebrate this milestone,” said Tony Shurman, Wyman’s President and Chief Executive. “As we mark this occasion, we honor and thank the thousands of people who have helped this company evolve into the success it is today. We’re deeply committed to continuing to build awareness and consumption of this remarkable fruit, and working to ensure a sustainable future for an industry that has nourished the economy and community for generations.”
Wyman’s owns more than 55,000 acres of land and freezes tens of millions of pounds of fruit during harvest at facilities in Maine and Canada. In 2020, Wyman’s became the top-selling brand of frozen fruit in the U.S., according to Nielsen data.
Still anchored in the rural Washington County town of Milbridge, Wyman’s provides over 300 year-round jobs, and 300 additional seasonal jobs during the summer harvest. More than a third of Wyman’s employees have a tenure of more than a decade, and many families who come to work the harvest return year after year and generation after generation.
“I’m so pleased to congratulate an iconic Maine brand, Wyman’s, as they celebrate their 150th year in operation,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins. “Now four generations since their founding, Wyman’s continues to be a leader in cultivating the wild blueberry that Maine is famous for, providing economic vitality for the Downeast region and high-quality jobs across the state.”
U.S. Senator Angus King also offered his congratulations to Wyman’s on this milestone.
“Wild blueberries have a special place in our state’s history, providing nutritious, delicious fruit for centuries dating back to Maine's tribal communities, who first cultivated the crop,” said Senator King. “Today, wild blueberries continue to be an economic powerhouse for the state’s economy, family businesses, and rural communities – not to mention a signature nutritious treat and baking staple for people worldwide. Thanks to Wyman’s, and all of Maine’s small agricultural businesses, blueberries have been an iconic Maine product for a century and a half.”
Through a research partnership with University of Maine, Wyman’s is also exploring how conditions like heat, drought, erratic rainfall patterns, and early frosts impact production to gain valuable insights for the industry. As Wyman’s celebrates its 150th birthday, the company is focused on the future, the opportunity it has to enhance health by helping the world eat more fruit, and living its values of doing the right thing and seeking a better way.