Mushroom grower South Mill Champs of Kennett Square, PA has purchased a new distribution center in Lakeland, Fla.
The 30,000-square-foot-plus food-grade facility will get the upgrades necessary for mushroom processing and then start commissioning it in November, according to a news release.
South Mill Champs operates a network of distribution centers, including Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles.
The centers provide onsite, fresh-sliced, high-quality mushrooms directly from the company’s Pennsylvania and British Columbia farms. Also, the distribution centers provide seasonal produce items to the local foodservice and retail markets.
“Our expansion into Florida is in line with our mission as we meet the increasing demand from our customers, many of which have a significant presence in this key market,” CEO Lewis Macleod.
National mushroom retail sales are more than 20 percent ahead of last year in dollars and 17 percent ahead in pounds, according to an analysis of retail data through September 6, published by the Mushroom Council.
The retail insights also show that mushrooms have placed in the top 10 of fruits and vegetables with the highest year-over-year absolute dollar gains for 26 straight weeks.
“We expect that market demand for mushrooms will continue to increase,” Macleod said, “as mainstream consumers become increasingly educated on the health and environmental benefits of mushrooms.”