Champ’s Mushrooms hires salesman
Michael Richmond, who is new to the industry, has been hired as sales support at Champ’s Mushrooms, Aldergrove, British Columbia, said Rick Watters, sales and marketing manager. Richmond will work in several areas of the plant and will fill in for Watters as needed.
The company also has converted all of its foam packaging to RPET containers, he said.
Ostrom Mushroom FarmsWorkers pack white button mushrooms at Ostrom Mushroom Farms, Olympia, Wash. Despite increasing sales of brown and specialty mushroom varieties, white mushrooms remain the bestseller, grower-shippers say.
Gourmet Mushrooms tries new shiitake
Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., Sebastopol, Calif., is experimenting with a “beautiful, high-grade” shiitake mushroom that has never been available in the U.S., said Meg Hill, director of sales and marketing. The variety is selling out every week in test markets.
She described the new product as “a classic, rounded shiitake with unbroken veil.”
The company should know within a year whether it can grow enough for commercial production. If that’s the case, “it will be wildly successful,” she said.
The company also added an 8-ounce package of trumpet royale and maitake frondosa mushrooms to its existing 4-ounce offering in response to increased demand.
The company is looking at new slicing equipment for the trumpet royale, a firm mushroom that lends itself to slicing.
Joel Russotti has been hired as director of operations. He most recently was with Lola’s Market, a chain of Mexican supermarkets based in Santa Rosa, Calif., and spent 17 years in retail operations at Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc.
Highline adopts new technology
Highline Mushrooms, Leamington, Ontario, has formed a joint venture with London, Ontario-based Cennatek, a technology development company, to establish a process that converts spent mushroom compost into liquid mineral fertilizers and other value-added products, said Jane Rhyno, director of sales and marketing.
“This is brand new technology that will dramatically improve our resource utilization rate and carbon footprint,” she said.
“It is a significant step forward for the North American mushroom industry and for all agricultural businesses that produce a waste biomass product.”
Also at Highline, Sabena Khan has been hired as account manager.
Khan has extensive sales experience and has represented companies such as Sunkist and, most recently, Pom Wonderful, Paramount Farms and Paramount Citrus, Rhyno said.
Kitchen Pride improves process
Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms Inc., Gonzales, Texas, is in the process of improving its composting process, said Bill St. John, sales director.