FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A hobby among friends has turned into a budding business venture for a former Fresno fire captain.
The Capn's Mushroom Company grows ten varieties and is gaining popularity not only among shoppers at local farmers markets but among restaurant chefs as well.
The grow room in east-central Fresno revealed some of the coolest and most colorful mushrooms you'll ever see.
Some resemble deep-sea coral.
The business was born out of a hobby while Jeremy Savitt was recovering from an on-the-job injury.
"I'm a former fire captain here in the Fresno area. I was in the fire service for 18 years," Savitt said.
"So, the mushrooms in the wild grow on trees so we're basically mimicking a tree. What we do is we put grain in basically sawdust and soy hulls into a bag with water," added Darren Wherry with the Capns Mushroom Company
Their mushroom farm is full of jars with sugar water.
"Inside of them that's all mushroom mycelium."
"Once we innoculate them with the living mycelium, we let them grow here, and once the mycelium fully colonizes it turns white. That means they're ready to be put into our grow room," Wherry said.
Some varieties push out mushrooms after just a few days in the grow room.
"The ones we sell out the fastest are the shiitakes and the lion's mane," explained Savitt.
They also sell tinctures - even coffee that was very smooth - in addition to all of those mushrooms.
"Everyone says, you got the psychedelic ones? Everyone walking by," said Sevitt. "Obviously, we don't have those."
"For us, it's cool," Wherry added. "It's also giving back to people in the community who can enjoy some different kinds of gourmet mushrooms that you're not able to get at your local supermarket."
Which is why local restaurants keep a close eye on this crop.
"The chefs come to the farmer's markets and we know them by face and name," Wherry said.
You can find Capn's Mushroom Company at local farmers markets, from River Park and Tesoro Viejo to the Tower District.
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