Emperor Specialty Foods was founded in 1986 as a producer of fresh shiitake mushrooms. In 1993 Emperor began importing fresh product by air from China to supplement its continuing in-house production. Early on, fresh product was destined to local Safeway's and other Western Canadian retailers.
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In 1995, a fundamental change took place when Emperor shut down its own production facility of fresh shiitake and focused exclusively on importing various fresh and dry mushrooms sourced locally and also imported from China.
1998 brought further change to the growing mushroom company by being the first Canadian company to routinely import containers of fresh mushrooms from China by ocean shipment. With larger inventories, distribution has expanded to cover regions all over Canada and some major retailers in the Northwest US.
In 2001 Emperor opened an office in China and began importing other fruits and vegetables for re-packing in its facility near Vancouver. The staff stationed in China are focused on developing new suppliers and products which has enabled rapid growth through product diversification.
To build on that sourcing capability, in 2011 Emperor opened a branch in Ontario led by a Regional Vice President. This branch focused on expanding Emperor's relationships with the major retail chains based in Ontario and Quebec by providing local inventory and processing capability.
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Mushroom Health Benefits
Dr. Maishong Ni, author of Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to be 100, calls mushrooms “the ultimate longevity food.” Why? Mushrooms are super foods.
Just like humans, mushrooms can make their own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D helps keep bones, hair, skin and nails strong and healthy, and it also helps ward off disease.
Mushrooms are also a good source of B vitamins: niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6, biotin, and pantothenic acid.
Collectively, these vitamins may help to relieve stress, depression, and fatigue. Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which help cells in the body fight dangerous oxygen molecules called free radicals. Free radicals may play a role in serious illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Mushrooms are less than 45 calories per serving and a good meat substitute.
It’s no wonder that ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese and Japanese cultures believed mushrooms contained the secret to super-human strength and godlike euphoria.
Today, what is known of mushrooms is no less fantastic, but rooted in years of scientific evidence and research, rather than superstition.