Chester County Looks to China for New Business Opportunities

Chris Alonzo, president of Kennett Square's Pietro Industries, will be teaching Chinese business people how to design a facility to grow mushrooms. Image via ABC News.

The multi-year effort to foster relationship between China and Chester County is starting to bear fruit, with local mushroom and beer producers preparing to expand there, writes Michaelle Bond for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Thanks to a friendship agreement signed three years ago between the county and Yongchuan district in Chongqing, several local businesses have already successfully identified potential business partners in China.

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In Anhui province near Shanghai, construction is scheduled to start in the fall on a new mushroom-growing facility. Chris Alonzo, president of Kennett Square’s Pietro Industries, is a partner in the project. He’ll be teaching Chinese business people how to design the facility and meet the required food safety standards.

“They said, ‘There’s a need for this in China, let’s ask for some help from people who know it,'” said Alonzo.

In addition to getting input on mushrooms, Chinese customers could also soon be enjoying beer from West Chester’s Levante Brewing. Michael DeThomas, one of Levante investors, is planning to travel to China next week to tour local facilities and continue negotiations with Eternity International Trading, which is interested in the brewery’s Cloudy and Cumbersome New England-style IPA.

Read more about Chester County’s business interests in China in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.