(Jan. 27, 10:15 a.m.) Joe D’Amico Sr., founder of Avondale, Pa.-based To-Jo Mushrooms and a pioneer in the fresh mushroom category, died after afive-year battle with cancer. He was 52.

D’Amico, president and owner of the company, died Jan. 17, and funeral services were Jan. 21.

The D’Amico family starting growing mushrooms in 1932 after purchasing a stone quarry that came with a small mushroom farm, and he founded To-Jo in 1980. He had worked in the family mushroom business for six years before that.

D’Amico named his business after his two sons, Tony D’Amico and Joe D’Amico Jr., who now run the company.

Joe D’Amico Sr. also was responsible for expanding To-Jo into several businesses, including:

  • To-Jo Food Products in 1994;

  • value-added mushroom company To-Jo Fresh, which distributes fresh white, brown and specialty mushrooms in foodservice and retail packs; and

  • Brownstone Mushrooms, the growing side of the business.

He also was responsible in developing the company’s many brands.

The company received the Impact Award for Excellence in Packaging from the Produce Marketing Association in 2008.

To-Jo Mushrooms founder D’Amico dies
Joe D’Amico Sr.