Class of 2003
John L. Bragg was born in 1941 and is a native of Springhill, Nova Scotia. He launched Oxford Frozen Foods in 1968 with a production capacity of 2 million pounds of wild blueberries per year. Today, Oxford has the world’s largest berry farm with 14,000 acres of wild blueberry properties in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Maine. The company also owns six processing factories, with a daily production capacity of more than 3 million pounds.
From the beginning, Mr. Bragg focused on developing lucrative business relationships. Most of the wild blueberries processed by Oxford today come from independent farmers who have been dealing with the company for many years. Customers are just as loyal – Oxford’s wild blueberries are recognized as a benchmark worldwide. Over the years, Bragg has developed markets for Oxford all over the world, including large customers in Japan, Germany, France and the United States.
Seeking diversification, Mr. Bragg has ventured into many other businesses and products, including frozen carrots, battered products, building supplies, and telecommunications. EastLink, his telecommunications company, was established in 1970 and is the largest privately owned cable television company in Canada, serving most of Nova Scotia and all of PEI. Delivering state of the art digital video and high speed internet services to urban and rural customers alike, Bragg has displayed his distinctive entrepreneurial flair by successfully launching a local residential telephone system over the cable network, establishing a new business that is unique to Canada.
Mr. Bragg has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Education from Mount Allison University, and became its Chancellor in 2004. He is a director for several well-known Canadian companies, including Sobeys Inc., the Empire Company Ltd., and Canada Bread Ltd. In 1999, Bragg was acknowledged with the Atlantic Canadian Philanthropist of the Year Award.
John Bragg shows few signs of slowing down. In 1994, he was awarded the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Governor General of Canada, Ray Hnatyshyn. Soon after, Mr. Bragg was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996. Oxford Frozen Foods continues to provide many opportunities in small town Nova Scotia, demonstrating his commitment to community.