Four Generations of Growers:
We Know Mushrooms
South Mill Champs began four generations ago in 1932 when Louie Pia, an Italian immigrant, began operating a small mushroom farm in southeastern Chester County, Pennsylvania. In the 1950s, the Pia family began supplying mushroom growing substrate to many local, family-owned mushroom farms and in a few short years, South Mill became the largest supplier.
In 1982 the family purchased one of Pennsylvania’s largest mushroom farms and soon we were selling our fresh mushrooms directly to the retail, wholesale, food service, and commercial markets under the “South Mill” label. In 2018 Champs Mushrooms in Aldergrove, British Columbia was acquired making South Mill Champs one of the largest growers in North America.
Today South Mill Champs seamlessly supplies over 110 million pounds annually of fresh, frozen, and minimally-processed mushrooms into expanded territories throughout North America. Our advanced logistics utilize the latest transportation and just-in-time technologies to ensure our mushrooms are the best tasting, the best looking, and the best quality available.
Our distribution centers, strategically located in major metropolitan areas across North America, changed the way non-regionally produced mushrooms were sold. These operations are able to deliver unparalleled service to regional retail and food service customers.
Authenticity Reflected in Every Mushroom
Authenticity is more than a guiding principle for everything we do at South Mill Champs. It’s how we grow the best mushrooms, from start to finish. You see, we not only own our growing houses, we even farm the straw used in part to create the fertile substrate for each an every mushroom picked at our own farms. Fresh packed and branded with the South Mill Champs label, they are then shipped in our own trucks to a retailer near you until you’re ready to open and enjoy them in your own kitchen.
You won’t find this level of product traceability with most other mushroom growers. It’s just one of the reasons why our fresh mushrooms simply look and taste better. You could say we’re a bit obsessed with walking the talk of uncompromising human health. We employ numerous conservation methods to minimize water usage. Where possible, we reuse waste water in our processes, including millions of gallons each year in the making of our growing medium. This benefits the environment and reduces our impact on ground water levels.
From Start to Finish
Healthy Growing Medium
Healthy growing medium is essential for productive and nutritious crops. We prepare our growing medium completely indoors using agricultural by-products, under strictly controlled conditions; environmentally friendly and operationally efficient.
Energy and Climate
We are dedicated to reducing air pollution and conserving energy. We grow our crops entirely indoors. Nearly all our growing rooms are heated with clean and efficient natural gas, and are equipped with energy-efficient cooling units.
Recycling and keeping waste out of landfills results in cleaner land, air, and water. We recycle most of our waste streams such as mushroom roots, cardboard and paper, waste oils, waste water, etc. 100% of our used growing medium is reused—most of it by farmers who use it to replenish their farmland— which significantly reduces the use of chemical fertilizers.
Employee safety and food safety are our top priorities. We follow strict guidelines in our farming practices that insure a safe working environment. We insist on mutual respect, and fair treatment and compensation. We are a long-term, industry leader in food safety and we participate in numerous in-house and third-party audits to help us insure that we have the safest food products possible.
Water Conservation and Protection
Clean, plentiful water is essential to agriculture and human health. We employ numerous conservation methods to minimize water usage. Where possible, we reuse waste water in our processes, including millions of gallons each year in the making of our growing medium. This benefits the environment and reduces our impact on ground water levels.
Our integrated pest management program entails a targeted approach to pest control. Organic growing methods are used in lieu of conventional methods whenever possible. Our emphasis on “Responsibly Grown” underscores our commitment to minimize pesticide usage, as well as its possible risks to consumers, workers, wildlife, and the environment.