If you are a restaurant or grocery store in Connecticut, looking for fresh, gourmet mushrooms, Sound Mushrooms is a locally based company out of Norwalk, distributing high-quality mushrooms to the region. The co-founders, Evan Krepps and Charlie Hibben, concept of generating delicious gourmet mushrooms from spent coffee grounds, is why they are the weeks move makers on our Motivational Entrepreneur List.
The idea for the business came about in 2018, while Krepps and Hibben were hiking to the summit of Mount Isolation in New Hampshire. Hibben began pointing out various species of mushrooms along the trail. The following week, the two were learning how to make espressos and noticed how much waste was generated relative to the yield of coffee. We consume over 10 million tons of coffee, world-wide, every year. It’s estimated that over 95% of its waste will be trucked to landfills, where it can increase the acidity of the surrounding soil, causing harm to plant and animal life. Krepps and Hibben started discussing how mushrooms could convert all types of waste, including spent coffee grounds, into good-quality soil and how mushrooms could be the solution to reducing pollution all around the world. From there, the concept of Sound Mushrooms was born. “By consuming this waste as a medium for mushroom growth, we can feed the public nutritious and delicious gourmet mushrooms, while converting the acidic coffee grounds into ideal soil for agriculture,” Krepps explains.
Sound Mushrooms grow and sell high-quality, specialty, gourmet mushrooms, while maximizing the usage of products that other industries discard as waste: primarily coffee grounds, sawdust and leaves. Oyster, shiitake, maiitake, chestnut, and lions mane are some of the gourmet mushrooms they deliver to restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets all along the Sound, to include Norwalk, Connecticut. There’s also opportunities for the public to collect money for the waste brought in as well.
Krepps and Hibben are motivated to demonstrate how mushrooms can be leveraged to restore the environment, while delivering consumers a delicious product full of health benefits. After hearing about Sound Mushrooms, Common Councilman Ernie Dumas suggested getting Norwalk Public Schools involved, so Krepps, Hibben and others are working on programs to help local students learn agribusiness.
Krepps and Hibben’s biggest challenge so far has been finding an ideal space to produce gourmet mushrooms. Krepps states that “with only a modest amount of initial capital, our options were limited. However, through many presentations and conversations with local business owners, we have been able to form partnerships that will give us and the local businesses something the others don’t have; for us, a place to begin production, and for them, a revenue stream from otherwise unusable real estate.”
ADVICE TO OTHERS
“We would advise any entrepreneur to tell others about their idea. Sharing your thoughts and plans helps you hone your pitch while gaining valuable feedback. Discussing your ideas with others also allows you to make useful connections and form important partnerships. There’s no reason to go it alone; there are many people out there that have skills and perspectives that can help your business grow.” – Evan Krepps
Sound Mushrooms provides local restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets fresh, gourmet mushrooms:
- Lions Mane
If you are a restaurant or grocery store in Connecticut, looking for fresh, gourmet mushrooms, Sound Mushrooms is a locally based company out of Norwalk, distributing high-quality mushrooms to the region. The co-founders, Evan Krepps and Charlie Hibben, concept of generating delicious, gourmet mushrooms from spent coffee grounds, is why they are the weeks move makers on our Motivational Entrepreneur List. Their passion about the potential for mushrooms, not just on your plate, but working with us to grow plants, to break down garbage, to heal the landscape, and to provide a treatment for many illnesses, is why these guys are businessmen you can trust.