Hot Shop: Mushboo

If you were among the many fans of our past Hot Shop product, the eco-friendly Urban Cultivator, you are going to go gaga for this week’s gourmet green product: the Mushboo. Imagine growing decadent oyster mushrooms right in your own kitchen, ready to be snapped off and thrown into your fave dishes at any time. Imagine doing so with the help of nothing more than old coffee grounds, water, and the chic Mushboo system. We talked with Mushboo creator Matt Unger, a young professional based in Vancouver, to find out all we could about this stylish, sustainable, and of course delicious, new product.   

What makes Mushboo so notable for young professionals?
“It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s a brand new experience! The young professional nowadays needs simplicity paired with aesthetics, to accommodate our busy lifestyles. Growing mushrooms on your kitchen counter, desk, or coffee table doesn’t sound appealing unless you can do so in a container that looks great. Our system is beautifully designed and simple to use.” 

How does the Mushboo system work?
“The system works by holding tap water in the bowl, which slowly seeps through the ceramic, continuously feeding the mushroom inside. As the water levels build, the mushrooms form at the fruiting hole because of exposure to light and oxygen. This causes the baby mushrooms to form and grow until they are ready to harvest. The Mushboo system is designed to continuously produce mushrooms using our refill cartridges, which easily slide in and out of the bamboo vase.” 

How did the idea for Mushboo first come to you, and how did you turn your vision into reality?
“The idea behind Mushboo started out as an effort to capitalize on urban coffee waste using mushrooms. When I decided to go with a mushroom kit, I created a design mandate of “iPod easy.” Working through prototype after prototype, we finally produced a simple-to-use system. Following the Chia pet craze of the 90s, we created a product that requires the customer to “just add water” and the system does the rest.”  

As a young professional yourself, how are you and your company doing?
“Great! We are in an exciting time of eco-trendiness and a market that demands local sustainability. Our customers are excited knowing they aren’t just growing gourmet mushrooms for their next stir fry, they are recreating local food security right in their homes. We are in the process of moving our operations into a larger facility, growing our team and partnering with the heavy hitters of Vancouver’s foodie community. It is an exciting time to be building a business that recycles waste, reduces green house gas, and feeds people simultaneously.”

How can Canadian young professionals get their own Mushboo kit?
“The easiest way is to order off of our website, We have also recently opened up to the wholesale market and are now taking orders from retailers across the country. Our newsletter also offers specials, recipes, and news about our research of using urban waste to grow food.”