Basciani Mushroom adds local operation

Avondale, Pa.-based Basciani Mushroom Farms is adding a local operation in Independence, La., to its network, according to Fred Recchiuti, Basciani’s marketing director.

He declined to name the operation or the principals, since the deal was not yet finalized.

He said it was a “family farm.”

Champ’s Mushrooms buys organic farm

Champ’s Mushrooms, Abbotsford, British Columbia, recently acquired a large organic mushroom farm.

The acquisition “will ensure our supply is secure and not reliant on buying organics form outside contract farms,” said Harvey Mitchler, sales and marketing director.

Dole Mushrooms hires general manager

Brian Kiniri’s arrival as general manager at Kennett Square, Pa.-based Oakshire Mushroom Farm, which does business as Dole Mushrooms, has paid dividends in the company’s food safety program, said Gary Schroeder, president.

Kiniri arrived at the company from a corporate background outside produce, including the pharmaceutical industry, in August 2010.

Kitchen Pride expands production

Gonzales, Texas-based Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms Inc. has expanded its production, said James Sweatt, sales director.

“We had an expansion of 15% that kicked into place last October (2010),” Sweatt said. “We added another 20,000-square-foot growing area.”

He declined to provide a figure on production volume.

Monterey Mushrooms ponders packaging

Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms Inc. has various cross-promotional programs either in the works or ongoing this year, said Joe Caldwell, the company’s Knoxville, Tenn.-based vice president.

The company also is pondering new packaging ideas, he added.

The company has a summertime promotion with soy sauce producer Kikkoman Corp., and another cross-promotion with “a couple of wine varieties” in the summer and fall, Caldwell said.

“We have another one with this summer with all retailers pushing portabella promotions, specifically,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of recipes and a display contest for produce managers.”

Ostrom Mushroom boosts vitamin D

Olympia, Wash.-based Ostrom Mushroom Farms has launched its “Vitamin D Enhancement” program.

The company in March began offering mushrooms with higher-than-normal vitamin D content — a result of growing practices using extra sunlight, according to Fletcher Street, marketing and sales director.

“We’ve devoted a lot of resources to that,” she said. “We’ve started out with the white and crimini sliced packages and moved to portabella sliced packages, too.”

It’s an all-natural process, Street said.

Phillips Mushroom expanding facility

Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, Pa., is expanding its production facility in Warwick, Md., said Kevin Donovan, sales manager.

“The initial farm was operational for two years now, and the new phase will add 50% production this fall,” he said.

Construction got under way late in the spring, although planning had been ongoing for more than a year, Donovan said.

The company’s total production volume at the Warwick plant is about 200,000 pounds weekly, and the project will add 2 acres of production space under one roof, Donovan said.

To-Jo Mushrooms adds value-added product

Avondale, Pa.-based To-Jo Mushrooms has a new 7-ounce value-added product, said Paul Frederic, vice president of sales and marketing.

We call it a traditional mushroom sautee with butter, salt and pepper,” Frederic said, adding that other flavor combinations are under development.

Initial distribution will be limited, he said.

In May, To-Jo brought on Peter Wilder as director of new business development – a new position, Frederic said.

Wilder previously was with the Produce Marketing Association as business development, sponsorship and advertising sales manager.

To-Jo also announced this year that both its packing and processing plants have attained certification under the SQF 2000 Standard at Level 3, the highest level of compliance.