view current print edition




Bob Besix, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Country Fresh Mushroom Co., headquartered in in Avondale, PA, told The Produce News that the company has been a member of the Southeast Produce Council since its inception.

“We started exhibiting at the Southern Exposure expo when its first show was held in Lakeland, FL,” said Mr. Besix. “And we have supported the council and its events from the beginning. A lot has changed from that first show, but one thing has stayed the same: the Southern Exposure event is a relaxed atmosphere that provides a great chance to have valuable one-on-one time with our customers and to discuss new opportunities and growth.”

Bob-Besix edited-1Bob BesixCountry Fresh Mushroom Co. will be exhibiting at the Southern Exposure Retail & Foodservice Conference & Expo at booth number 605 on March 2 of the event, which is being held this year at the Caribe Royale Resort & Conference Center in Orlando, FL. Besides Mr. Besix, David Santucci, region sales manager, and Marybeth March, northeast sales manager for the company will be manning the company’s booth to greet visitors.

“At the expo, we will be showing our recycle packaging and some new customized retail packs,” Mr. Besix noted. “At Country Fresh, we feel like we are more than just a mushroom supplier. We are a partner with our customers to provide custom designed programs, private label packaging, category management and support for a wide variety of foodservice and retail needs that all help to increase mushroom sales.”

Mr. Besix and his colleagues also enjoy partaking in the entertainment venues that are offered at Southern Exposure.

“The gala event is always enjoyable, and a good time to network with customers,” he added.

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. and its dedicated group of growers have been growing top-quality mushrooms since 1925. Today it is one of the nation’s most trusted mushroom suppliers, delivering fresh mushrooms to a diverse customer base throughout the eastern United States. Its corporate promise begins and ends with quality.

To accommodate its continuing growth, the company is preparing to mark a major milestone by moving into a new facility.

“We are very excited to announce that we will be moving into our new 62,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility sometime in March of this year,” said Mr. Besix. “We are continuously looking to expand in many markets and also expand with our other produce items that we offer along with our mushrooms.”

The new facility is located in Toughkenamon, PA, just a short distance from Avondale.

The company carries a full line of fresh mushrooms, from conventional whites and browns to exotics and wild varieties.

The company is also bullish when it comes to its food-safety initiatives.

“Country Fresh Mushroom has obtained its Level 3 SQF [Safe Quality Food] certification,” said Mr. Besix. “It is a sign of our commitment to continuous improvement of our food-safety and food-quality management systems. With safety procedures integrated into every step, from growing straight through inspection, packing and shipping, we can assure our customers that our mushrooms meet the highest safety and quality standards every day.”

The company has also recently updated its website to make it more user friendly to not only its customers, but also to consumers who want to learn more about mushroom varieties and their uses, and it provides videos on how to prepare mushrooms, along with a link to the Mushroom Council’s wide assortment of recipes.