Basel start-up farms sustainable gourmet mushrooms

The Basel-based start-up Stadtpilze farms oyster mushrooms using coffee grounds. After registering in the commercial registry, the company now wants to move full steam ahead. It has already received positive feedback from the food industry.

Stadtpilze farms oyster mushrooms using coffee grounds. (image: Stadtpilze)

Stadtpilze (urban mushrooms) won the Innovation Basel competition at the end of 2016 with its innovative concept. The biotechnologist, Amrin Sirch, has long been interested in cultivating gourmet mushrooms using coffee grounds. Nearly two years ago, he took the necessary steps to carry out his idea, reported 20 Minuten. And he’s receiving invaluable support in the shape of David Jucker, who is responsible for production and development, and the business economist Matthias Nebel.

Stadtpilze produced a video explaining their concept. The coffee grounds are mixed with other ingredients such as nutrients before the mushroom substrate of the oyster mushrooms is added. The mushrooms are then grown inside buckets. 

After moving into suitable premises on Gasstrasse in Basel on March and registering in the commercial registry in March, the company is now able to offer something that few wholesalers can, wrote 20 Minuten: “Daily deliveries of fresh mushrooms”.

Sustainability is important to Stadtpilze. As the video explains, the company uses organic coffee grounds in the farming process – and they found a supplier in the Basel-based barista Sylvia Vonlanthen. To date, the start-up has turned 1 tonne of coffee grounds into 100 kilograms of gourmet mushrooms.

“We’ve already received great feedback from chefs,” Nebel is quoted in 20 Minuten. The urban mushroom farmers have set themselves ambitious goals: to produce 400 kilograms per month in the future. To achieve this goal, the company has now launched a crowdfunding campaignon 100 Days. They’ve already raised CHF 6,000 of the target CHF 45,000, and still have another 45 days to go. The campaign is also drawing attention to their on-going need for organic coffee.

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