For Black River Meats, a Little Attitude Goes a Very Long Way

This is kinda crazy. But in a good way.

Sean Buchanan at Black River Meats, in North Springfield, Vermont, has been getting serious attention lately. He's the VP of sales and marketing at the local-meat twin of Black River Produce, the key distributor of locally sourced fruits and vegetables you see all over the Upper Valley and, in fact, New England.

The reason? Earlier this month, someone noticed the instructions on the back of a package of Black River's bacon (you'll need to read them in the pic above) and put it up on Facebook, captioning it "BEST PACKAGING EVER!" The pointed humor obviously struck a nerve -- the post has gone viral (we're talking hundreds of thousands here of views on Facebook alone). And Buchanan has popped up in the Miami Herald,, which fact-checked whether the photo "did indeed capture a regularly sold product of theirs", the Burlington Free Press, and most recently the website of the Association for Christian Retail: "For no production, print or commercial costs," their article pointed out, "the company has people talking about their product in a positive way and they’ve created a brand in just two sentences."

Of course, there's the inevitable debate over whether Black River Meats is bashing teachers. As Buchanan explained to Snopes, "it was intended to be a mixture of humor and seriousness, because what’s the world coming to if people don’t know how to cook something as simple as bacon? (All the more so because this particular bacon product is packaged fully cooked.)"

Meanwhile, at the eye of the social-media storm back here in Vermont, Black River is keeping its cool. When the spokesman for the Vermont NEA -- the statewide teachers' union -- challenged Buchanan to a bacon cook-off, he responded (via Facebook, of course), "Don't let the label fool you. We still love our teachers, and accept the challenge."


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