Kaolin Mushroom Farms

Kaolin Mushroom Farms

Kaolin Mushroom Farms

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Description:
Kaolin Mushroom Farms, Inc. is a 4th generation family farm that began growing mushrooms in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1925. Headquarters is now at 649 West South Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348-3417.

History

Shortly after John Pia, the current owner’s grandfather, immigrated from Italy to the United States, he began growing tomatoes as a sharecropper for the Campbell Soup Company until a friend convinced him to try his hand at growing mushrooms. His son, Louis Pia, started working in the business in 1940, and in 1950 he began to formulate a new type of mushroom growing substrate (the composted food base for the crop) that had been developed at Pennsylvania State University. It was so successful that other local growers asked him to formulate some for them and this soon became their main revenue source.

Louis incorporated Kaolin Mushroom Farms, Inc. in 1962 and from that time until 1982, the Company’s primary business was the commercial composting of mushroom growing substrate although it continued to grow mushrooms.

In the late 1970s Louis’ two sons, Michael and John, began to work full time in the family business. In 1982 the Pia family switched its focus from composting back to mushroom growing when they purchased the largest mushroom farm in Chester County from a subsidiary of the Clorox Company. Michael and John assumed ownership and control of the Company in 1984.

Today

The Company continued to grow through acquisitions and expansions and today...
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