Basciani Mushroom Farms, Avondale, Pa., is almost back to full production after disruption by the new coronavirus, said Michael Basciani, CEO.
The foodservice side was especially hard hit, since about 75% of the company’s business is with restaurants, ballparks and office buildings, he said.
“On March 12, our phones literally stopped ringing,” he said. “We didn’t see any substantial orders for about two weeks.”
Things began to improve when takeout business picked up and restaurants were able to open for outdoor dining.
The experience brought the company’s sales team closer to its customers, he said.
“You’re really a team because you’re both going through the same thing,’ Basciani said. The company markets about 30 varieties of mushroom all across North America and offers about 800 stock-keeping units.
“We’ll do any size, pack or cut,” he said. During the coronavirus pandemic, movement on the basic mushroom varieties has been stronger than the specialties, especially when the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to Families Food Box Program started, said Fred Recchiuti, the company’s general manager.
“If anybody ever needed an immunity boost from mushrooms, it’s the millions of great Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, to this invisible enemy.”
The company also has added another Basciani to the team.
Joseph Basciani graduated from the University of Georgia last year majoring in finance and real estate and has been named the firm’s chief financial officer.
“(Joe Basciani) is a great addition to the team,” Michael Basciani said. “He fits perfectly with his siblings and cousins in this fast-paced business,” he said. “I am excited that he has the same passion and drive for this business as I do.”