My favorite things at Fancy Food Show this year were Brooklyn Brew Shop’s home brewing kit, Caviart (vegetarian caviar), and a the Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden from Back to the Roots.
Back to the Roots wins on two levels. This is an amazing foodie item AND it’s a great tool for educating children. I was in love at first glance.
The company was founded by two friends from UC Berkeley, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora. It is said they started experimenting in Alejandro’s frat kitchen (something tells me they may not have been experimenting with the mere edible kind). They went out, pitched Whole Foods, Chez Panise, and received a $5K grant to build their company.
Why Back to the Roots is cool:
In 2011 they reused 1 million pounds of coffee grounds
250,000 pounds of mushrooms were grown
Sustained 10 school gardens with donations of soil
Created 31 green collar jobs
Why the kit is cool:
Super easy to use (just mist it a few times daily)
Grows 1.5 lbs of gourmet mushrooms
Takes only 10 days
**Better yet, once you buy your kit, if you post a picture with your kit fully grown on their facebook page, the guys donate a kit to an elementary classroom of your choice to support youth sustainability education. Way to work social media!
Not bad for two guys growing ‘shrooms in college.