Bill and Jeff Birnn
Jeff and Bill Birnn entered the family business on a full-time basis in 1972 and 1973, respectively. In the early 1980’s, their brother-in-law, John Cunnell, joined them in the business. As business grew, they looked for ways to further differentiate themselves within the confectionery industry. Collectively, they refined the art of making European style-truffles and developed their wholesale business. In 1991 Jeff and Bill moved the truffle- making company to South Burlington, Vermont. Cunnell stayed in New Jersey with a retail store and manufacturing facility, establishing his own company and chocolate product line.
Jeff and Bill were constantly pushing to improve methods of internal efficiencies without compromising the integrity and quality of the finished product. For example, they introduced innovations such as insulating boxes for summer shipping as well as shrink wrapping of stock boxes, both of which were adapted industry-wide.
The rollout of a mini 18-mm, twist-wrapped truffle, coupled with the introduction of a “dessert” truffle, underscored their product development talents. The most recent innovation involved introducing a full-line of “artisan” truffles at an affordable price. Over the past several years, they have tripled the size of their manufacturing plant, implementing the latest processing automation and technology. During the 21 years that they have been in Vermont, they have become extremely aware of the environment, energy resources and recycling. The Birnn brothers have taken a leadership role by continuing to push for improvement in all aspects of life. For more than 20 years, they have been active members of New England Retail Confectioners Association, Retail Confectioners International and the Philadelphia National Candy Show. Recently, Jeff’s daughter, Julia, and her husband, have joined the family business as the fourth generation.
Birnn Chocolates of Vermont, Inc. will celebrate its 100th year anniversary in 2015.