A family business since 1948, the C.N. Brown Co. began as a retail and wholesale lumber concern and expanded into gasoline, heating oil and convenience stores. South Paris, Maine-based C.N. Brown operates 78 Big Apple Food Store convenience stores throughout New England. The chain has 12 gas stations that do not have a c-store, and 27 are Red Shield Heating Oil sites. The company distributes fuel to 40 independents but does not control other aspects of buying for these locations.

C.N. Brown also operates six car washes.

It sells a range of energy products, including branded and unbranded gasoline, heating oil, propane, kerosene, diesel fuel for both on road and off road, wood pellets and natural gas. Most recently, C.N. Brown expanded its energy options and began offering electricity to customers in Maine. The electricity program also links to a rewards program at Big Apple convenience stores and gas stations.

The "C.N. Brown Rewards" loyalty program offers discounts and savings to customers who make purchases at the Big Apple Food Stores throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. A second phase will include purchases at C.N. Brown's gas stations, Red Shield Heating Oil locations and C.N. Brown Electricity.

The company completed a raze and rebuild in 2014. Stores going forward will be in the range of 4,000 square feet. The company converted 42 stations to the CITGO brand in 2011, adding to those already flying the brand. The company built two stores in 2010—one was a replacementfor a store that burned in 2009.

Headquarters:South Paris, Maine
No. of Stores:78
Average Store Size:1,000-2,500 sq. ft.
Rank Last Year:69
States of Operation: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont