Monday, May 2, 2011

Innovation, Profitability and Integrity: Agribusiness right in your own home


There's something beautiful about combining business savvy, innovative thinking and integrity.  In the spirit of spring mushroom growing I figured I would touch on a fascinating story.  I stumbled onto BTTR Ventures (Back to the Roots), a DIY mushroom kit company using leftover coffee grounds from Peet's Coffee shops in the Berkeley area.  Berkeley is gorgeous, located in the Bay area just outside of San Fransisco.  A thriving small city with a focus on environmentalism brought about by the community and facilitated by a University that encourages the creativity of young minds such as Nikhil and Alex, two 23 year old recent graduates from Berkley's Hass School of Business.  Having visited Berkeley last Spring on an incredible trip through Northern California, I discovered that Peet's Coffee is something of a staple having slightly more shops than Starbucks in the surrounding area.  In a recent interview with Civil Eats, Nikhil and Alex were asked if they had experience farming in any capacity.  Surprisingly their answer was...

no.  They "just realized this was a good idea with a lot of potential.  It's a total by the boot straps, learn-as-you-go operation" and what better way to learn than through research and experience.  You can only learn so much from books and there comes a time where you have to be willing to take a chance, be ready to make some "mistakes."  Without taking a chance, without mistakes there can be no development, innovation is dependent upon action.  If we all did the same things everyone else did we would never progress.  Nikhil and Alex appear to have stepped outside of the box and looked at a simple formula; there is no waste, only potential.  There is plenty of leftover coffee grounds that would go to waste and plenty of mushrooms that can easily be grown right out of these leftovers.  With a mission of profitability, sustainability and delicious nutritious mushrooms, these two young entrepreneurs are setting the tone for how to run a great profitable business while maintaining their integrity.  We all know it feels good to make money, but just think about how good it would feel waking up each day knowing you are making money while making a difference.  This project is a no-brainer to me as it gets people closer to their food source by having them grow the mushrooms in their own home and it saves the customer money by putting the production in their hands.

You can read the entire article here:  Mushroom kit entrepreneurs

Good luck to these guys and if you're interested, you can learn more and even buy the kit right off the website (don't worry they have no idea who I am so this is unsolicited propaganda): BTTR Ventures


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