What an exciting year it's been! In the bustle of daily operations, we forget how much can happen in 365 days. In the spirit of the new year, we’re taking this time to reflect on 2018. We’ve put together some of our favorite highlights of the past year.
• We went through our first first spawn season with an updated online store. Last spring, we sent out hundreds of sawdust spawn and plug spawn bags to all of you who inoculated mushroom logs. It was our biggest spawn season yet and we're already gearing up for next year.
• One of our founders, Eliah, competed in two different small business pitch competitions… and won both! North Spore won a total of $150,000 and we were able to invest in spawn production equipment to expand our system and make it more efficient.
• The summer and fall of 2018 brought one of the most bountiful wild mushroom years Maine has had in a long time. Foragers were constantly bringing us a variety of fresh mushrooms. We were grateful our excitement was matched when we shared them at the farmers markets and with the talented chefs we work with. Fingers crossed for another great year soon!
• This past year, we significantly expanded our educational programming and led multiple mushroom foraging classes. We took groups out in the woods of Maine to discuss sustainable foraging techniques and mushroom identification. The classes were more popular than we expected so we’ll be sure to do many more in 2019!
• As always, we attended our favorite event of the year, Common Ground Country Fair. We packed up our spawn, camped out at the fair, and got to spend the weekend interacting with all of you who value small farms like us. We cherish the weekend because we get to hear your mushroom project trials and tribulations, how you’re using our spawn in your farm or garden, and your future plans for mushroom cultivation.
• The busiest months of the year at North Spore were November and December by far. We had the greatest amount of holiday orders we’ve ever seen and all hands were on deck to get our mushroom gifts out the door. A big thank you to everyone who chose to gift something that grows this holiday season. We can’t wait to hear how your friends and family enjoyed their experience with the mycological world.
• Last but not least, we added 5 people to our staff in 2018. We are thrilled to have Rachael, Noah, Tim, DJ, and Elsie working with us and are looking forward to the new ideas and improvements they all bring with them.
• Thank you to everyone who has supported our business this past year. We say this often, but we could not be what we are today without your support. Wishing you a very happy new year and cheers to an even better 2019!