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Michigan Mushroom Market

Submitted by: Ashleigh Harris
State: Michigan
City: Petoskey

Business Description

Michigan Mushroom Market offers wild-foraged and cultivated gourmet/medicinal fungi to the general public, via local farmers markets, festivals, online sales, and direct retail/wholesale orders.

What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?

When Ken & Ashleigh Harris started Michigan Mushroom Market back in 2010, they knew they had created something special and were very excited about doing what they LOVED for a living! They had already spent years researching, hunting, and identifying wild mushrooms and edibles from their local woods as a recreational hobby...and were enjoying the "fruits" of their own labor, by collecting and preparing nature's bounty at home for family and friends, and wanted to share their knowledge (and mushrooms) with the general public.They turned their passion into their livelihood and became certified as wild mushroom experts in the State of Michigan by the MDA, which allowed them to sell foraged fungi to others, thus they began selling retail at local farmers markets and wholesale to area chefs & restaurants. They soon discovered that they had the ONLY business of it's kind in Michigan...and one of very few like it anywhere in the US! Since they have been slowly growing their business model and expanding their customer base over the past 6+ years, they have already experienced the profound interest and the need for their products and services by the public. Ken & Ashleigh opened a storefront in Petoskey in 2014, which was receiving excellent feedback...until a tragic fire destroyed the building in 2015 and they were forced to close at that location. They intend to open a new retail shop in 2017 and continue their quest to introduce people to the very unique world of the Fungi Kingdom!

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

Besides providing gourmet & medicinal mushrooms to the public (as a nutritionally sound & naturally organic food source), Ken & Ashleigh also strive to educate people about wild-foraged edibles and cultivated mushrooms. They offer local presentations and informational programs, teaching people in our community about the benefits of consumption and how to prepare & store mushrooms (which they also do freely at every farmers market they attend). Ken holds guided-hunts in the area, and teaches people how to safely identify & harvest a wide variety of wild edible fungi Spring through Fall. Because they are certified by the MDA, they are also able to purchase wild mushrooms from other pickers, thereby helping the local economy in general.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

Because we are a small, family-owned & operated business, and we have built the company from the ground up (literally!) - one market at a time (at the mercy of Mother Nature), and due to the fact that we lost our retail storefront to a fire not long ago...every little bit helps tremendously! $1000 could provide much-needed computer/office hardware & software to assist in important day-to-day tasks, and any form of training and/or mentoring would be taken FULL advantage of and greatly appreciated, as we do need help in learning how to run the business efficiently and finding new avenues for growth and success far into the future! Financial planning & business management are a necessity to keep progressing and moving forward with our vision!
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