FLORENCEVILLE-BRISTOL N.B. – Flags were lowered Saturday outside the many McCain's Foods offices in Florenceville, New Brunswick town as the community reacted to news of Wallace McCain's death.

McCain, a co-founder the frozen food giant, died Friday night in Toronto at the age of 81.

In 1957, McCain and his brother Harrison built a frozen food processing in Florenceville where it became the processor's global headquarters.

The company itself put the community of just over 1,500 people on the map, with Florenceville being dubbed the ‘French fry capital of the world.' McCain's is the world's largest producer of frozen French fries.

Despite running a growing multi-billion dollar business with offices around the world, Wallace McCain always called Florenceville home. People in the small town were mourning his passing this weekend.

"I'm sure people here are feeling a big loss, including myself," said resident Sterling Oakes. "He's been a big part of the community for 80 some years."

A funeral service for McCain will take place Friday May 20 in both Toronto and Florenceville.

"Wallace was a great, great man and supported Florenceville very well and it'll be a sad day for everybody," said Florenceville resident Monica Wilkinson.

While McCain's accomplishments and stature were recognized on the global stage, his success did little to change the way he interacted with people in the community and those who worked for him.

"You could almost set your clock by him and Harrison in the mornings," said Robert Holmes, a former McCain's employee. "They'd come through the warehouse every morning. They would never come at the same time, they'd come at different times. They made their rounds everyday and just checked everything out."

Harrison McCain died in 2004

Premier David Alward told CTV News that Wallace McCain's passing was a loss for all New Brunswickers.

"He was an incredible leader, just really the very best of what New Brunswick has to offer," said Alward. "He was successful on the global level, but he never forgot his roots and I think that certainly sends a very large message."

While its business as usual at the plant where the McCain empire began, the town and its first family are grieving. Wallace McCain is survived by his wife, four children and nine grandchildren.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell