- Meet the Team
Meet the Team
Eliah is a co-founder of North Spore and the CEO. An entrepreneur and true Mainer through and through, he is an expert in greenhouse and organic farm management and ran a small organic farm in Downeast Maine before founding North Spore. These days he oversees operations and business development. He's an avid sailor and musician and always enjoys a good business pitch competition.
Jon is a co-founder of North Spore and the head mycologist. As the Lead Mycologist at North Spore, Jon is in charge of the Research and Development team, maintaining our mushroom cultures and researching new strains of wild mushrooms for their potential cultivation. He grew up foraging wild mushrooms with his father in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and this early interest in mushrooms inspired him to pursue a masters degree in Mycology. Before co-founding North Spore he worked as the Research and Production Mycologist for Field and Forest Products in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
Matt is a co-founder of North Spore and serves as the Creative Director. Matt developed his passion for fungi on Mount Desert Island where he frequently supplied restaurants with wild-foraged mushrooms. A graduate of the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies he cut his teeth working as a freelance photojournalist for the New York Times in Maine. He's a self-taught videographer and editor who's always pushing to learn more. His passion for good food, and good company coupled with a strong environmental ethic and a love for foraging and gardening, has underscored his commitment to the North Spore mission.
Rachael manages the laboratory and assists with product development at North Spore. She previously worked as a research assistant studying fungal pathogens of lowbush blueberry at the University of Maine in Orono. She obtained an MS at Clark University studying fungal endophytes. She enjoys reading, hiking, and all things fungi!
Louis heads up education, works in customer service, and coordinates many of North Spore events. He has spent over 10 years growing and hunting mushrooms from coast to coast and loves nothing more than getting into the woods to hike or mountain bike and look for highly prized wild foods. When the mushrooms aren’t in season, Louis enjoys a day of snowboarding followed by a little whiskey and a good book.
Brit lives in a cozy little cottage in Portland, Maine. She shares her home with her cool husband, Brandon, as well as two four legged beasts. Her time is mostly spent making her house a home, worrying, cooking and cleaning. When time affords you can find her taking a walk in the woods, reading, or with pencil or needle in hand. At North Spore she designs booklets and draws mushrooms.
Noah grew up in Miami, FL, moved to Maine for school and has lived here ever since, enjoying hiking, surfing, and all four actual seasons. He's worked at a Portland-based food bank and done live sound engineering at SPACE Gallery. Since he started, North Spore has cultivated his love of mushrooms and propelled his curiosity even further. At North Spore he manages commercial spawn accounts and inventory management.
Amanda started at North Spore mid-2019 after deciding an office job wasn't for her. She now manages the fulfillment team packing online orders during the week. On the weekends, she spends her time painting, baking and hiking.
Grace grew up on the coast of Maine with a naturalist mother and marine biologist father. They instilled early interests in science and nature that have never left her. Following her sister’s lead, she used her biology scholarship to Hampshire College to instead pursue her other great love: art. After earning a degree in Printmaking from University of Southern Maine she spent nearly a decade as a screen printer. Ready for a change, she found a new home at North Spore where she packs and ships spawn orders.
Mike has been serving the mycological cause since his interest was tickled by the abundant black trumpets and honey mushrooms of Acadia. Shortly thereafter he was arrested for foraging mushrooms in a national park (see Bar Harbor police beat for September 2006). His uphill battle since his run-in with the law has included the farming of veggies and poultry, kelp and mussels, commercial fishing in Maine and Alaska, two masters of science degrees, leading the halibut and the scallop research programs for the state of Maine.
Nate is a musician and loves photography, video production, biking, DJing, and traveling. At North Spore, he is a Content Specialist, managing content creation, email marketing, website curation, and social media. He loves to spend his free time with his girlfriend, cooking meals together, exploring, and running errands.
DJ is a mechanical engineer by degree, handles the production improvements, equipment maintenance, and other mechanical/electrical tasks for North Spore. Winter is DJ's favorite season. The only thing that's not great about it, is that there are no mushrooms! That's why he had to find a place like North Spore, so he could help grow them inside. When he's not at work, he can be found foraging, snowboarding, hiking, snowmobiling, tearing down and building up some machine in his garage, or traveling the world (17 countries and counting)!
Breanna is a native Maine filmmaker who's been passionate about storytelling for as a long as she can remember. She's been fortunate to work on a range of projects for networks such as CNN, ABC, Food Network, Discovery, PBS, Showtime, Columbia Pictures, and more right from her home in New England. Her never-ending curiosity for culture and filmmaking has taken her as far as the coast of Brazil, forging creative connections with local filmmakers in a cross cultural exchange.
Nero is from Honduras and is dreamy and fun. He really likes to smile and enjoy the company of friends. He loves soccer, bike riding, walking, and enjoying the fresh air of the mountains. He currently works on the product prep team at North Spore.
Rodimiro is originally from Honduras and was a university student of the International Trade School at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras. He loves cooking but hasn't yet learned how to cook mushrooms, though he hopes one day to learn! He loves to dance, listen to music and do research on the politics and human rights of different countries. He currently works on the product prep team at North Spore.
For most of the season Brighid is a full-time farmer delighted by growing herbs, milking cows, & watching honeybees on apple blossoms. When not in the field or holding down weekend production at North Spore, Brighid is usually somewhere hiking through forests, learning fiddle tunes, or pondering words over coffee. She believes in a short naps, frequent stretching, and hot chocolate for dinner.
Kate grew up in New England and has lived all over the U.S. including the Pacific Northwest and Montana. She also lived in Guam for one very hot adventurous year. She studied Fine Arts in Connecticut and loves all things paint, clay, metal, glass, fabric, wax...you name it. When she's not covered in paint you can find her outside star gazing, rock-hounding, fossil hunting and of course mushroom hunting while stopping to examine any and every little odd thing along the path.
Bligh currently works as the office manager at North Spore. Her love for mycology started when she would try to identify any mushroom she’d find along the trail while hiking. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her hiking, tending to her large amount of plants or enjoying some live music with friends.
Will serves as Science and Writing Specialist, assisting in the creation of online marketing, social media, and articles published on North Spore's blog, The Black Trumpet. A Maine native who returned after a decade away, he was happy to join the North Spore community in 2021 amid a growing interest in home mushroom cultivation worldwide. When not writing about mushrooms he explores the coast of Maine looking for colorful birds and strange cloud formations.
Toni-Lee is a native Virginian who found her way up to Maine because of her love for potatoes and adventures. You can find her eating dirt and exploring the islands of Maine. She discovered fungi stumbling along trails, reading some books, taking a class and crawling up mountains. She has a vocation for life and good music. Toni currently works on the North Spore customer service team.
Elliot joined North Spore's team as the production manager after years of running production at a company that makes composting toilets. Outside of work hours Elliot can be found playing drums and percussion, performing in several bands in the Portland area. He also enjoys biking, hiking, and disc golfing and is looking forward to adding mushroom cultivating and foraging to the list. He lives in South Portland with his wife and their dog Moneypenny, and his start at North Spore coincides with the birth of their first child.
Clare lives for adventures in the great outdoors and traveling to faraway places. She likes science and surfing and hiking and kayaking, mountains and canyons, and sleeping in a tent. She plays cribbage and chess, the flute and the piano. She likes to sing, especially in Spanish. She loves tending to her vegetable garden, running with dogs, and working with great people on fun projects. She loves it when the mushrooms start pinning.
Jill is originally from Alberta, Canada and currently heads up marketing at North Spore. Her U.S. journey began in California, and in 2020, she finally made the move to Maine with her husband and 4 rescue English Pointers to take in all the beauty and wonder the state has to offer. In addition to her love for the mycological world, she’s also obsessed with peanut butter, star gazing, and outdoor concerts.
Hailing from the foothills of Western Maine, Lena grew up balanced between the mountains, rivers, and lakes of the region. In her free time you can most likely find her in the back of a canoe, soaking up the sunshine somewhere, or playing music with her band, GoldenOak! After years as a Montessori school teacher, she’s happy to have joined the North Spore fulfillment team and spread those spores throughout the universe.
After work in the outdoor retail and independent natural food industries, Cara comes to North Spore to join the fulfillment team. Her favorite things in life are hiking, road trips and traveling, cats, ramen, dancing and basketball. She is a mental health writer and advocate and she volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She is also writing her memoir and documents others' personal mental health journeys in her project, Portraits of Mental Health.
Nicolas is a North Spore Production Team member, and he couldn’t be more thrilled! He passionately advocates for working with fungi to support food sovereignty, environmental remediation, and medicinal usages. Nicolas is an avid rock climber, kayaker, and backpacker who also enjoys baking bread, djing, and rollerblading. He graduated from Prescott College with a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Community Development, and loves to get politically involved.
Tanya currently works at North Spore in product development for all things medicinal and edible. She has been formally studying herbalism since 2018, and has since earned over 700+ hours of study through coursework and apprenticeships. Tanya also runs a small business called Oak Fairy Apothecary, which focuses on providing community with locally sourced herbs, mushrooms, & educational content.
Patrick is a New England native who, after living nomadically for 2 years, has settled down in Portland, Maine. As a self-proclaimed renaissance man, his previous jobs vary wildly, from running a small organic farm to business development at start-ups. As with his jobs, so with his hobbies. Lately in his off hours you can find him tinkering with modular synths or fly fishing. He’s been dabbling in mycology since 2016 when he found his love for cultivation.
Isabelle started at North Spore in September 2022. She has her bachelor’s degree in biology from Colgate University and hopes to pursue a career in conservation or environmental eduction. In 2019 she completed an internship at World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, MO where she rehabilitated wild raptors and trained resident birds for programs. She loves animals, arts and crafts, and the way dirt smells after it rains. When not growing mushroom spawn, you can find her outside looking at cool birds, taking care of her aquariums and many houseplants, and snuggling with her cat, Samwise.
Margo grew up in the Seacoast area of NH where she also attended UNH for a BA in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Before joining North Spore she worked on two small scale farms, taught nutrition and culinary skills, and coordinated afterschool programs. Her love for mushrooms and working with her hands drew Margo to the production team at North Spore. In her free time, she can be found snuggling her rescue pup, baking, gardening, and exploring the outdoors.
Lucia hails from the blueberry barrens of downeast Maine. She enjoys being on the fulfillment team and packing orders that travel to mushroom lovers throughout the country. Outside of work, she loves the fields and forests and all things living. She has a degree in journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In some circles, Lucia is known as the puzzlemaster for her expertise in fantasy games and puzzle books.
Owen grew up in Southern Maine and spends his time fishing, hiking, foraging for mushrooms and taking care of his many plants. At home he loves spending time with his cat Bingus and finding new ways to cook mushrooms.
Jon grew up in Branford, Connecticut and moved to Maine in 2013. That’s when his love for all things nature and foraging truly took off. He got his Associate’s Degree in Horticulture & Botany and has worked in numerous Agricultural related fields since 2016; eventually arriving at North Spore as part of the production team! He is currently working on getting his Bachelors Degree in Microbiology and Computer Sciences. Beginning of 2023 he will start the year off becoming a father!
Isaac grew up in the Willy Wacks of Maine. Most of his childhood was spent in the trees and dirt, relying heavily on his imagination to take him on wonderful adventures through space and time. He's a proud and loving dog and plant dad. He believes in respect and kindness for all life, no matter how micro or macro. He looks forward to furthering his knowledge about this living universe and our true connection to the natural systems at play.
Daniel grew up spending every summer in Maine, and moved here proper in 2012 to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering. He spends his free time playing ultimate frisbee, working on his house, and hanging out with his cat.
Austin is from Texas originally but knew Maine was were he belonged from his first visit. He moved to Portland with his partner and dogs in 2020 and threw himself into living like a Mainer. Gardener, homebrewer, baker, and avid reader, Austin only discovered his obsession with fungi in 2021 but has been learning all he can ever since. Outside of work you're likely to find him hiking, working on house projects, or enjoying time with his family and a pint of Maine beer.