Starting JCB Gourmet Mushrooms
JCB Gourmet Mushrooms was never a dream concept for either John or Cathie. In many ways it was a combination of a couple things falling in line at the correct time. It was largely the push from a friend that got me to thinking about growing mushrooms. I had experienced the taste and versatility of mushrooms in my diet from many years earlier when I was working in school teaching and managing a kitchen for the staff in Zambia which is located in Central Africa.
Moving over 35 years later I was experiencing a series of health issues and the business concept was presented to me. At first I was very skeptical but it was when I discovered the medicinal aspects of the mushrooms that made me take a more serious look. In the beginning we started by building 2 greenhouses in our back yard. Very quickly we discovered that this was not a great idea, our temperature and humidity levels were too difficult to control. The first months was a time where we failed forward and failure was a large part of my learning curve.
The idea to move out of our backyard into a more dependable location took some serious planning but once made we never looked back. This move to our present location at the Kinburn Business Park has been so far our single best decision we have made so far. The first month and a half was spent building everything within the walls of our leased space. I never had built so much in my life and I give YouTube videos and online tutorials the foundation from where I learnt to do all I had done.
It took us over 2 months before we were able to get our humidity, temperatures and carbon dioxide levels all under control. At times we would get one or two of the three done right but rarely all three. Purchasing the online systems that would give you an easy fix was simply out of our price range and too costly. So we managed to rely on DIY (Doing It Yourself) and it worked out to be a very good move. Our systems do not look like masterpieces, but they work and it cost a fraction of the cost for a plug and play system. It also helped me to better understand what is required.
In December we started to sell mushroom Grow Kits which ended up being a huge success. We have been selling these grow kits on our website along with our fresh mushrooms. 2020 we had only 2 types of mushrooms the pink oyster and lions mane for choices for grow kits. In the future we plan to eventually include other types of mushrooms for our grow kits.
In the new year of 2021 it is our hope to be able to sell some of the systems the we have made or used to make our business possible. We will have a section that you will be able to start your own business or hobby growing mushrooms and also to purchase many of your consumables that mushroom producers use on a regular basis.