Jared Bell is a South Bend native who moved to the Goshen area about five years ago. He and his wife, Klarisa, started Myco Mushrooms out of their garage in late 2019. That year, the sold some 200 pounds of gourmet mushrooms a week to local restaurants and farmers markets.
Bell credits his farm’s origin to an article he discovered several years ago about a man from Ohio who started his own gourmet mushroom farm: “It was just something where I was sitting in my basement one night, and I came across an article about a young man in Ohio who started a small gourmet mushroom farm, and I just dived deeper into it, and kind of figured that it might be something that I would like to try.”
Once his farm was established and he began making local business connections, demand for his mushrooms quickly increased, Bell told goshennews.com: “As far as the types of mushrooms we grow, we only grow gourmet and exotic species of mushrooms. So, we don’t grow Portobello or white button mushrooms, not because they’re not a profitable mushroom, but, you know, mainly my concern with them was that they’re secondary decomposers. So, they decompose waste products, like manure, and I personally didn’t want to work with that.
When the pandemic arrived in early 2020, many other local businesses were reducing capacity or even closing completely, but Myco Mushrooms continued to thrive to the point where expansion was looking like an inevitability: “The journey of the expansion started at the end of the summer last year when I realized that there was no way I could keep up with the demand from the farmer’s market and all the restaurants opening back up."
"And, while I was in the farmer’s market, I was having sales people from produce distributors that were coming in to get our mushrooms, and they were highly interested in possibly getting mushrooms from us. And I’m like, ‘Well, here are more people to add to the list.’ And then, with more research into the market, it was just viable for us to expand. I mean, it was just a decision that we couldn’t say no to.”