Bobby and Allie at a festival in Long Island
The Mushroom Men first got their start when our founder, Bobby was gifted a mushroom book back in the beginning of 2012. Prior to this, there was much lead up to this career choice, almost as if the world of mushrooms was destined to be his future. Bobby had grown up on his parents Black Angus farm and was passionate about farming since the first time he showed animals in the local county fair at the age of eight. Through out his teenage years, he showed cattle, chicken, rabbits and sheep and used his admiration of agriculture to improve his families breeding stock while also inspiring his brothers Johnny and Billy to share in his new found love. After high school, Bobby knew he had the desire to study science and to try to help the world. He was accepted to college to study pharmacy and for the first time, he saw that the field of medicine may be the perfect answer to his career path. Yet in the back of his mind he knew this was still just a stepping stone to funding his own farm one day.
Bobby teaching about mushrooms at Farm Aid 2013
Medicine was a very interested field for Bobby, as he loved learning about the the many different areas of biology, chemistry and how the body was affected by disease and the drugs that could cause many changes in body. He started interning at a retail pharmacy after his first few years of school and this was the first time he realized that although he thoroughly enjoyed his area of study, the retail world was complex and would not present him the chance to truly help revolutionize the world. This presented him with a conundrum. Should he stay in a field that he loved learning all of the science behind, but was discouraged by profession that surrounded it, or should he halt on 4 years of hard dedication to find another career path. Well Bobby was never one to confirm to something that he did not enjoy, so the latter was the path he created. One year later after transferring to SUNY Albany, Bobby earned his bachelors degree in Biology and set off to figure out what would come next.
Lions Mane growing on a sawdust block
After working a year of odd jobs, Bobby was still searching for his perfect profession in the science field. He had recently met Allison, the love of his life, and she was an essential part of helping Bobby find his career bliss. It was at this time in his life that he was lucky enough to find a job in drug manufacturing. The job was an amazing opportunity to learn about and implicate the grow of genetically modified cells from a test tube vile to the capacity of 1000s of liters. Little did he realize that this training, all completed in a clean room, would be his catalyst to his life of mycology.
Bobby and Allie visiting the Dr. Oz show for a segment on mushrooms
Bobby and Allison joined their hands in marriage in 2012 and at this point Bobby was growing bored of manufacturing and the urge to return to the farm was constantly in his mind. For 6 months they discussed different areas of farming and how they could accomplish this dream. It was at this point when Bobby was gifted that first mushroom book by his father. He read it front to back within a week and at this point he knew this was the area of agriculture was where he belonged. From expanding cell cultures to producing food to the possible medicinal implications of mushrooms, Mycology encompassed agriculture and science in such a way it felt like destiny. Jobs were quit, plans were made and the Mushroom Men were born.
Our shiitake mushrooms growing on a oak logs
Bobby and Allison ordered some shiitake mushroom spawn and inoculation tools, and set out with a chainsaw and the determination to grow their first mushrooms. In their first year, the inoculated 500 oak logs while awaiting the spawn run to complete they decided to dive into growing inside with inoculated sawdust blocks. They turned a spare bedroom into a grow room lined with plastic walls, storage racks and a humidifier. They ordered there first set of shiitake and oyster blocks and began to experiment to find out how to produce mushrooms that were a superior quality to anything that could be found at the grocery store. Production began to take off and they were lucky enough to be accepted in two local farmers markets. Week after week, they learned to increase production and how to market their mushrooms to patrons of their markets. Within 6 months of their log inoculations, they also began to get bountiful weekly harvest from their wood grown mushrooms. All of this success led them to realize they could truly craft a career around this new found field of agriculture.
One first grow house
Over the next few years, they increased their outdoor operation adding thousands of more shiitake logs along with oyster mushroom totems and wine cap garden beds. They built a new grow house to increase production and sought out new markets to distribute their products to. Much time was spent on building a wholesale business as well, providing mushrooms to high restaurants across the capital district. They also built a laboratory to produce their own mushroom blocks and expand their varieties that they could produce. Over the next few years they also expanded their family to include their daughter Kennedy and their twin boys, Bobby and Mikey.
A mushroom bouquet
Our Current situation
- We have developed our plan for this season and are amidst execution of our latest mushroom endeavor.
- We strive to be the amongst the leaders of mushroom education and production in the Northeast
- We have the desire to provide the highest quality mushrooms and mushroom products to our customers while education our customers about the world of benefits from the Fungi Kingdom
- Mushroom education is the core of what defines The Mushroom Men and we will help use this knowledge to change the world around us.
- We are dedicated to educate our consumers about the cornucopia of health benefits that can be derived from mushrooms
- We know mushrooms are a key aspect of the environment and we have the desire to help improve this knowledge and utilize mushrooms to the best of their mycoremediation power.
- We are at the forefront of a food revolution and we strive to produce the most unique mushrooms and products currently unknown to average person.