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Champ’s Mushrooms builds farm

Aldergrove, British Columbia-based Champ’s Mushrooms is expanding, said Michael Richmond, sales and marketing manager.

“We’ve got a new farm being built — about 10 million pounds annually 1 kilometer from our current location,” he said.

Production in the expanded space will begin in 2018, Richmond said.

The additional volume with bring yearly output at Champ’s to about 50 million pounds, Richmond said.


Joe Caldwell joins Giorgio Fresh

Mushroom industry veteran Joe Caldwell has joined Giorgio Fresh Co. in Temple, Pa., to succeed president Dave Carroll, who is planning to retire after more than three decades.

Caldwell had been with Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms Inc. for 32 years, where he was vice president until May. He will share leadership responsibilities with Carroll for the next nine months, until Carroll steps aside.

Carroll plans to remain with Giorgio in an advisory, technical and strategic role.


Highline Mushrooms updates branding

Leamington, Ontario-based Highline Mushrooms has launched a rebranding effort, said Jane Rhyno, sales and marketing director.

“At this year’s CPMA show, we unveiled our new rebrand to the Canadian produce industry with a full launch prepared for the coming year,” Rhyno said.

The rebrand will include a refreshed logo, redesigned labels, a new website and more.

Highline has been growing its sales and marketing staff, with Sabrina Pokomandy hired most recently, Rhyno said.

This year, Highline launched top seal, resealable packaging designed specifically for mushrooms, she said.


Monterey Mushrooms hires Knobeloch

Bruce Knobeloch, a veteran of the produce industry of more than 40 years, has joined Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms Inc. as director of product development and marketing, said Mike O’Brien, vice president of sales and marketing.

Knobeloch comes to the company as Joe Caldwell, who was vice president at Monterey, has left to take a position with Giorgio Fresh Co.

Knobeloch was director of produce & floral with St. Louis-based retailer Schnuck Markets Inc. from 1974 to 2000. Since then he has held executive positions with Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio Inc. and Salinas, Calif.-based River Ranch Fresh Foods, including leading River Ranch as president in 2010-12. Most recently, Knobeloch was principal at BNK & Associates, a produce industry consulting group.


Oakshire Mushroom revamps labels

Kennett Square, Pa.-based Oakshire Mushroom Farm, which markets produce under the Dole Mushrooms brand, is developing new labels that are “more consumer-oriented,” said Brian Kiniry, president.

“We want to try to reach the consumer in different ways,” he said. “We’re going to make sure nutritional labels are updated for us, as if the (new labeling) law was going to go into effect next year, and also try to make it more fitting for recipes.”


Ostrom Mushroom looks to Yakima

Olympia, Wash.-based Ostrom Mushroom Farms is planning to expand its production, said Fletcher Street, sales and marketing director.

“We’re looking to build a new composting facility and replacement farm for that and modern(ize) technology, because, in order to compete these days, you really have to go with the more modern mushroom growing technology that requires fewer people,” she said.

Plans aren't finalized, but the company hopes to break ground next spring and have production by January 2019, she said. The new facility will be near Yakima, Wash., “closer to more ag labor,” Street said.

Ostrom will maintain a distribution hub in western Washington, in the Kent area, Street said.

“We’ll keep Olympia going and we’ll do a second phase to the farm,” she said.


Phillips Mushroom boosts organic

Kennett Square, Pa.-based Phillips Mushroom Farms has added a product to its organic line, said Kevin Donovan, sales manager.

The new item, called Gourmet Blend, in a 40-ounce package, has organic shiitake, sliced baby bella and oyster mushrooms, Donovan said.

Phillips has offered a conventional version of the product for 20 years, Donovan said.

It will be available nationwide starting in August.