Jeremy Olesky is the on-site general manager of Gourmet’s Finest’s Detroit facility, which the company opened four years ago. The firm has two convenient locations that allow it to ship its high-quality mushrooms to many major cities quickly. Besides its 10,000-square-foot distribution center in Detroit, its headquarters is in Avondale, PA, in the middle of America’s mushroom heartland.
“We have grown our business considerably over the past year,” said Mr. Olesky. “We are aggressive in our marketing and in servicing our customer base. We don’t see people going out of business in the Detroit area. It’s been a strong year. We’ve been in Detroit a long time, and even at its worst, people still have to eat — and that’s the bottom line.”
He noted that while areas in the inner city aren’t doing great economically, one can go to any urban area in the country and see similar situations.
“It is part and parcel of being in an urban area,” said Mr. Olesky. “Detroit offers fine dining, casinos and many entertainment venues. People are going out to socialize and to enjoy watching major league sports. This — and so much more in the downtown area — draws millions of people every year. These people have to park their cars and they have to eat. Look across the U.S. and you’ll see that parts of all cities were more vibrant before there was urban area development.”
Because of its more upscale customers, Gourmet’s Finest has added more high-end items. Its line now consists of a wide selection of value-added items that save both time and labor for customers and consumers alike.
“We now offer more packaged snipped green beans,” said Mr. Olesky. “And we are more heavily involved with peeled onions such as cipollini and pearls, which are white tablecloth items. And we concentrate on locally grown items such as arugula, spinach and spring mixes. Some of these items are new for us, and they are geared specifically to a more upscale clientele.”
Gourmet’s Finest is also offering more organic mushrooms than it has in the past. Mr. Olesky said the company is trying to offer more specialty products that don’t put the company in competition with 100 other firms that offer the same things.
It is also being mindful of food miles, and it is sourcing in ways that keep miles traveled as low as possible.
“We are the exclusive distributors of our value-added items,” said Mr. Olesky. “Our value-added line is processed at another facility that is properly certified. We grow our mushrooms at our mushroom farms in Avondale.”
Demand for mushrooms has been strong and steady, following a tight supply market last year. He said that there are mushrooms available now, but not an overabundance.
He explained that although mushrooms are grown indoors, which has its perks, it doesn’t make them immune to any number of potential problems.
Mr. Olesky said that the “good, old-fashioned” sliced white mushrooms are as popular as ever today.
“Portabella, Crimini and all other browns are also more popular today,” he said. “Browns are now mainstream and no longer considered specialties. They are simply a part of the commodity that mushrooms now represent.”
Gourmet’s Finest two locations enable it to ship high quality mushrooms expediently to many major cities and any destination in between. The Avondale facility is over 30,000-square-feet. From it, deliveries are made daily to major cities such as Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Louisville, Nashville and Kansas City, as well as destinations in between.
Mr. Olesky said that Gourmet’s Finest staff is a long-standing and loyal team.
“We’re here for a lifetime,” he said.