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Country Fresh launching new products, touting new facility at expo

“We will have our full line of fresh whites, browns, exotics, and quick-blanch mushrooms on display at our booth, number 126, at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference & Expo,” said Bob Besix, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Country Fresh Mushroom Co. now headquartered in Toughkenamon, PA. “We moved into our new packing facility just outside Kennett Square in April of this year.”

Besix will be joined at the PMA Foodservice Expo by Country Fresh Mushroom staff members, Dave Santucci, regional sales manager, Midwest, Kirk Wilson, regional sales manager, Southeast and Laura Matar, vice president of sales and operations.

New-Bldg-PhotoCountry Fresh Mushroom Co.'s new Toughkenamon, PA, facility. Country Fresh offers a diverse product line. Roughly half of its business is in the foodservice sector.Besides promoting its full line of mushrooms at the expo, the team will be telling visitors about the new state-of-the-art packing facility, and its family-owned growers’ continued expansions and upgrades, including new and sophisticated Dutch growing technology. Besix said the technology “has us well positioned to service our customers. Over and above servicing our customers, we believe our sustainability and environmental efforts have us well positioned to remain a strong, vibrant organization all while doing our part to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Country Fresh Mushrooms’ efforts include more efficient packing as well as the industry’s first solar panel farm, reclaiming water systems, energy efficient cooling, walking path, tree planting and a move to more products in sustainability packaging. The company also has a transportation fleet that exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions standards.

The company will also be displaying new packaging at the PMA Foodservice expo.

“We will be showing new tray packs and combo packs both available for white and brown mushrooms,” said Besix. “And we’ll introduce a new quick blanch product that provides greatly improved shelf life.”

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. offers a diverse product line. Roughly half of its business is in the foodservice sector, and it is working to expand this portion of its business.

Through its logistics’ arm, CF Logistics, the company ships to nearly every corner of the country. The company’s core trading areas include the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast. Its products can also be found in much of the Caribbean and afloat on many of the major cruise line’s ships.

“We are fortunate to have a diverse customer base ranging from fine dining to quick-serve restaurants, as well as processors,” Besix noted. “They all contribute to the success and growth of the Country Fresh program. While recent economic pressure has everyone paying more attention to their operations’ efficiencies, and chefs and operators are fighting the same battles, they are all looking for value for their money. Country Fresh delivers value via quality products and services. We have been fortunate to align ourselves with a well-managed organization, and by working together with our customer base, we have performed well through these challenging times. Our commitment is in being a partner with our customers and strategically putting a plan into place with them to overcome these obstacles.”

Country Fresh Mushroom recently added two industry experts to its sales team. David Santucci, regional sales manager, Midwest, learned the mushroom business from the ground up, having spent 40 years working on his family-owned farm.

“Dave is well-versed in all aspects of the mushroom business, from growing and harvest to the customers dock door,” said Besix. “His knowledge and commitment to customer service is a great addition to the Country Fresh team.

“Kirk Wilson has also joined us as regional sales manager, Southeast,” he continued. “Kirk brings 26 years of sales and marketing, operations and logistical experience to the Country Fresh team, with the last six years focused on the mushroom industry.

“His wealth of knowledge will drive our continued commitment to operational efficiencies, product quality and outstanding customer service. Kirk’s customer needs focus positions Country Fresh for continued growth,” Besix said. “Both men, who are mushroom program experts, are available to drive growth within our customers’ mushroom programs.”

Besix also noted that the company offers freight opportunities for its customers, allowing them to receive the mushroom shipments and other products with only one truck arriving at its dock, thereby increasing efficiencies.