Joe Caldwell Announces Upcoming Retirement From Giorgio Fresh and Giorgi Mushroom Company

Joe Caldwell Announces Upcoming Retirement From Giorgio Fresh and Giorgi Mushroom Company

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BLANDON, PA - When I hear industry veteran Joe Caldwell’s name, I immediately drift into thoughts of mushroom innovation, passionate commitment, and deep relationships. With nearly 40 years in the fresh produce industry, the President of Giorgio Fresh and Giorgi Mushroom Company has seen the landscape of the mushroom category change, from the evolution of sales and marketing through analytical category management to the modern advances in growing and harvesting through process controls, food safety, and sustainability. As we approach summer, Joe is experiencing the landscape change once again as he sets his sights on his upcoming retirement at the end of June.

Joe Caldwell, President, Giorgio Fresh and Giorgi Mushroom Company

“My time at Giorgio Fresh has been a source of immense gratitude,” Joe shares. “The true richness of my experience in the fresh produce industry lies in the people—the individuals who are part of farming businesses and value hard work and a strong commitment to each other. At every level of our organization, there is a deep respect for one another and the challenges we face in delivering high-quality, wholesome, and nutritious food to our customers and consumers. Each person is valued for their unique contribution."

Joe started on his path to mushrooms at an early age, beginning by developing that coveted work ethic we know so well at the age of 10 while mowing grass and working in his father’s service station. His first direct step toward the category happened when he joined Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1980 in its food division, utilizing his college degree in chemical engineering.

“I was looking for a job that allowed me to connect with people and didn’t put me into a lab,” Joe smiles, adding, “The food industry was interesting, and people always need to eat!”

After 40 years in the produce business, Giorgio Fresh and Giorgi Mushroom Company's Joe Caldwell readies to hang his cap

After P&G, Joe came across a mushroom farm that was looking for an engineer, and so he joined Monterey Mushrooms in 1985. Joe realized the many opportunities, but ultimately fell in love with the business and the people.

In 2017, Joe joined Giorgi Mushrooms as Giorgio Fresh’s President. Giorgi Mushrooms, Giorgio Fresh’s parent company, is in its 96th year, with the Giorgi family’s third generation leading the charge. As Joe expresses, this business was built by families, and that element has remained strong and aligned with its growth and evolution.

“I deeply appreciate how this company has lived its legacy so far, placing value in the stories of each and every family,” Joe shares, speaking both to his current team and a larger industry of friends and family as well. “Don’t ever lose that connection to the families and generations that have come before. Tell the old stories, and continue to make new ones. There are many generations to come.”

The industry veteran dedicated years of his life to setting up a legacy of innovation and trust, all of which can be seen in the company culture of Giorgio

When I ask Joe about some of the best advice he received during his time in the industry, he tells me: Live your personal integrity in everything you do.

“Every employee, every business partner, every customer, every vendor, every competitor will appreciate and know you for that,” he reflects.

It goes without saying that Joe has lived a career full of such personal triumphs.

“I love this business, this company, our people, my neighbors, my church family. If my family lived close, I would never retire. But it’s time to spend more time with my six children, six grandchildren, and my eight siblings and their families. I might add in a little travel, a little golf, and some work on my '63 Buick Wildcat,” Joe reflects.

Please join me in congratulating this industry trailblazer and advocate on his upcoming retirement! Joe, thank you for your dedication, leadership, and passion. We are all grateful for your impact.

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