B&W Quality Growers was founded in New Jersey in 1870, when brothers-in-law Richard Salmon Baker and Richard Soltan formed Soltan & Baker to grow and sell watercress. Soon, nephew Albert W. Baker joined the operation, and eventually his son, Richard W. Baker, ran the company. Richard R. (Dick) Burgoon married Richard W. Baker’s oldest daughter, Patricia, and was welcomed into the family business in 1963. The B&W Quality Growers name was established in 1969 when Burgoon bought Soltan & Baker from his father-in-law and merged the company with Donald E. Weaver, whose family had founded the first watercress farm in Florida. Donald E. Weaver retired in 1990 and sold his share of the business to Burgoon. Company headquarters were moved to Fellsmere, Florida in 1995.
B&W Quality Growers was owned and operated by the Burgoon family until 2015, when CEO Mark DeLeo assembled a group of investors to purchase the fifth-generation family-owned business. Mark began working with B&W and the Burgoon family in 2001, joined the company’s board in 2009, and was named CEO in 2012. As principle owner and CEO, he is passionate about remaining true to the original founders’ legacy of superior nutrition, flavor, quality, and sustainability, as well as honoring the heritage and culture of family for those who work at B&W Quality Growers today.
Our Vision, Mission & Legacy
Our passion and focus is distinctive baby leaves. Guided by our vision and mission, we remain true to our legacy of superior nutrition, flavor, quality, and sustainability.
To bring the health and flavor of distinctive baby leaves to people everywhere.
We sustainably grow, pack and market the best fresh, healthy, distinctively delicious leafy greens, providing well-being for our Consumers, value for our Customers, and opportunities for our Employees.
What is our legacy? To us, it’s simple. It’s every dish that features our naturally-grown baby leaves. It’s the soil in which we grow those leaves on our sustainable farms. It’s the people who tend those farms, and it’s the people who enjoy our products, time and time again. It’s our continuing commitment to quality in everything that we do. It’s being the best in baby leaves.
At B&W, we have specialized in delicate, uniquely flavored baby leaves since 1870. There is simply no one else in the world with our depth and breadth of experience.
B&W is a proud member of these organizations: