Capel Mushrooms was established in 1962 and is now run by the founder’s sons, Damian and Patrick Hearne. In 1988, Damian and Patrick took the decision to become organic, and as one of the first organic mushroom growers in the country, they then faced new problems - not least the lack of a market. However, they persevered and have developed solid reputations as organic growers.
At the main site in Capel St. Mary, the compost on which the mushrooms grow is produced and used to cultivate closed cap mushrooms. Compost is also produced for a second site at Trimley, where they grow open cap, brown cap, portobello and portobellini mushrooms. All these mushrooms are, in fact, the same species, Agaricus Bisporus, but different strains and growing times allow the variations. Capel work as part of a co-operative with another organic grower, Gourmet Mushrooms, who produce speciality mushrooms such as Pleurotus (similar to Oyster) and Shii-take.