Phillips Mushrooms adds capacity
Phillips Mushrooms Farms personnel at the International Fresh Produce Association Global Produce & Floral Show in Anaheim, CA, are unveiling a few new items and more capacity, but their main focus is to greet current and new customers to tell its story as one of the premier mushroom operations in North America.
In fact, they claim to have the largest farm for its commodity in the country. “The Warwick farm is the largest single site mushroom farm in North America — producing over 700,000 pounds per week,” said Sean Steller, director of business development, for the Kennett Square, PA-based company.
In fact, Phillips Mushrooms is still headquartered on the same farm on which the company was founded almost a century ago in 1927.
“Since that time, we have focused on quality, service and reliability to partner with some of the top retail and foodservice providers around,” Steller said.
The Kennett Square location is still where all of its products are packed and shipped, though it has farms elsewhere in Pennsylvania, as well as in Warwick, MD, where the largest farm is located.
The company’s newest farm was constructed in Jennersville, PA in 2021 to increase production of high-quality white and crimini mushrooms. This year, Phillips is increasing production capacity at the state-of-the-art Jennersville farm with the addition of eight growing rooms. This will bring total production at this facility to more than 300,000 pounds of mushrooms per week. The first harvest from the expansion has been timed to coincide with the November holiday season, ensuring consistent, high-quality supply during the busiest mushroom time of the year.
“Specialty mushrooms are also a huge part of our DNA, with over 40 years of cultivation experience,” Steller said, noting that the company has a wide selection of mushroom varieties for its many customers. “In addition to White, Crimini and Portabella, we currently grow Shiitake, Oyster, Maitake, Lion’s Mane and Royal Trumpet. Consumers continue to learn about the benefits of these mushrooms — and Lion’s Mane is gaining in popularity rapidly.”
He added that Lion’s Mane mushrooms remain top of mind with research ongoing around neurological benefits. “This is the top mushroom that consumers are asking questions about, and looking for right now,” he said.
Steller noted that Phillips has been growing organic certified mushrooms since 2002 as another option for consumers. “Over the last 20-plus years, we have seen a large increase in demand and attention to organic mushroom production, and the Phillips family continues to invest in this area,” he said. “Our goal is to improve efficiency and yield during the growing process, to make organic mushrooms more accessible.”
Steller revealed that mushroom production (yield) generally increases in colder months based on a variety of factors. Historically, he said this pairs well with increased demand as consumers are cooking more at home and leaning into soup season.
“Right now, consumers are definitely looking for promotions across the store,” he said. “Mushrooms generally do respond to retail promotions, especially focusing on trends such as Portabella cap summer programs, and including mushroom promotions alongside the meat department, or complementary items such as onions.”
The company is extremely proud of its operations and urges buyers to come visit. “By investing in state-of-the-art growing facilities, vertical integration and customer service, the Phillips team delivers a reliable mushroom program that keeps consumers engaged,” Steller said. “Our doors are open, please reach out for a tour.”