John Anderson, founder
Foods In Season
Sustainable Mushrooms, Wild Greens, Seafood and Meat
Founded with a strong philosophy of sustainability, respect for nature and a love for fresh, natural food, Southwest Washington-based Foods In Season was started by John Anderson and his wife, Wanda, in 1984.
Living along the Columbia River Gorge, John Anderson discovered wild morel mushrooms growing near his family’s farm and, in his off hours, began picking and selling them by the pound to local restaurants. It wasn’t long before Anderson’s mushroom-foraging side-business began interfering with his job at a nearby plywood mill, so he took the risk of leaving his plant position to devote his full effort to his growing foraging enterprise. It turned out to be a successful venture, and eventually Anderson expanded his offerings to include other species of mushrooms from all over the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Canada and Europe. Today, along with its flagship Morels, Foods In Season distributes 25 different Wild and Cultivated mushrooms, as well as an array of dried and frozen mushrooms.
From late-September through November, through subsidiary New Seasons International, the company sources and ships to Japan the Northwest’s prized Matsutake mushrooms. These exotic mushrooms come from the Deschutes National Forest and Crater Lake area of Southern Oregon, and Mount Saint Helens in Washington State. The Matsutake mushrooms are considered a rare delicacy in Japan. Adding to their thriving Matsutake venture, Foods In Season now exports Pacific Northwest Chanterelles and Morels all over Europe.
The Anderson family started foraging Wild Greens in the late 80s, and over the years the company has added a wide range of forest-derived edible greens such as; Wild Fiddlehead Ferns, Ramps (leeks), Watercress and Nettles. If that wasn’t enough, the family managed to discover over five different species of truffles to add to their growing list of offerings.
The company in 2004 began buying and distributing sustainable Seafood, including Wild King Salmon, Day-Boat Halibut, and Dungeness Crab. Two years later Foods In Season added All Natural Meats to its range of sustainable foods; Painted Hills All Natural Beef, Bison, Cervena Venison, Ellensburg All Natural Lamb, Mishima Ranch American Wagyu, Tails and Trotters Hazelnut Finished Pork, Olympic Provisions Charcuterie, and MacFarlane Pheasant.
Foods In Season also carries an impressive selection of unique artisan products, including the highly prized BliS™ Products produced by Steve Stallard and the exclusive PRIMA™ brand Italian Truffle products distributed only by Foods In Season.
A cornerstone of the Foods In Season brand is its guaranteed-fresh policy, standing behind all their products 100%. The company ships all of its products to more than 1,500 restaurant customers and upscale grocery markets Nationwide and Internationally via FedEx overnight.
Though the Anderson’s themselves no longer forage for their living, they do enjoy going on foraging adventures throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. They buy mushrooms and greens from a small network of experienced professional foragers who have dedicated their careers to finding the best forest-derived food available in nature. The same demand for quality and freshness applies to Food In Seasons’ Seafood and Meat offerings; the company sources only sustainable Seafood and Natural Meats from environmentally responsible fishermen and ranchers.
As it was in the beginning, Foods In Season is still very much a family business. All three of the Anderson’s children, who grew up along with the company, now hold active positions in its management. Today, instead of only the five Anderson’s, Foods In Season employs a total of 30 employees; 25 at its Washougal, Washington-based warehouse and headquarters, and 5 at the newly added Las Vegas location.“Sustainability is not a new idea to us,” Anderson says. “Responsibly harvesting what nature provides has been a way of life at Foods In Season for 25 years.”