Austen Brinker, a professional stand-up comedian, did a major pivot in early 2021 after the pandemic shut down entertainment venues. “That March I started getting serious about growing edible gourmet mushrooms,” he said. “It was a hobby I had started in college.”
That was 2015 when he was a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he majored in finance and operations management. Fast-forward to 2022 and he is back to doing stand-up gigs — bringing along the mushrooms from his successful business to sell after the show.
What started in his garage has become an urban farm called Fungus Farm Colorado, located in a 1,600-square-foot office building on Fillmore Street. “It doesn’t take much space to grow mushrooms since the plants are placed on rolling vertical shelves,” Brinker said. “In the off season, I produce about 100 pounds a week. In the peak summer season, I can get about 200 pounds in this new space.”
He began selling them at farmers' markets — and he ramps up production in spring and summer in order to sell his products there. Now his customers range from vegans and chefs to small grocery stores.
Read the complete article at www.gazette.com.