- 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, WI.
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 is on the customer service team 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 though, 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.
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.
Amanda started at North Spore mid-2019 after deciding an office job wasn't for her. She now manages the team packing online orders during the week, and spends her weekends painting, baking and hiking.
Nate grew up in Portland but now resides in San Diego, California where he works remotely. In his free time he writes and records music, and loves photography, video production, biking, DJing, and traveling. At North Spore, his role is Content Specialist. Nate enjoys being able to connect his loves for art and design with his love for nature.
Hailing from The Paris of Appalachia (also known as Pittsburgh, Pa) Julia's early connection and love of nature helped her to cultivate a passion in organic farming, landscaping, and fine gardening. In her free time, Julia can be found foraging, wandering, playing with plants, drinking tea, and creating art. You can find her answering questions and supporting you in all of your mushroom adventures!
Growing up in seacoast NH, Sierra’s love for the outdoors has led them across many trails in ME and NH, to hike 1,000 miles of the PCT, and now here to the world of mushrooms where they pack products at North Spore. They studied ceramics at UNH and are generally interested in all things clay, music, forests and ecology. They also work as a live sound engineer at Space Gallery, write and perform their own music, and haven’t met a hot sauce they don’t want to try.
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)!
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, and renovating land and home with his wife and dog in Durham, Maine.
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. At North Spore, Rodi gives the final quality control check and oversees product packaging.
Vallerie grew up in Connecticut and headed to Los Angeles after college where she fell in love with hiking. After backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail for a summer, she realized a life of minimalism was more her style and decided to return to the Northeast. Since moving to Maine 3 years ago, she added teaching yoga, horticulture, skiing, and mushroom foraging to her list of life skills. Vallerie is here to help answer your questions about North Spore products and mushroom cultivation, every step of the way!
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.
Bligh grew up in Maine and loves it too much to ever leave. Her love for mycology started when she would try to identify any mushroom she’d find along the trail while hiking. She’s not a great forager but hopes to become one someday! At North Spore, she assembles and packages online orders. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her hiking, tending to her millions of plants or enjoying some live music with friends.
Will serves as a production assistant at North Spore where he helps package and ship mushroom products across the country. A Maine native who returned after a decade away, he is happy to join the North Spore community amid a growing interest in home mushroom cultivation worldwide. When not working at North Spore he explores the coast of Maine looking for colorful birds and strange cloud formations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jill is originally from Alberta, Canada. Her U.S. journey began in California, then she headed east to Boston. 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. During the week, she heads up marketing for North Spore, and you might even see her selling mushrooms at the farmer’s markets on weekends. In addition to her love for the mycological world, she’s also obsessed with peanut butter, star gazing, and outdoor concerts.
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.
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.
Tanya was born in Ringwood, NJ and now resides in Gray, ME. She has been formally studying herbalism since 2018, and has since earned over 700+ hours of study through coursework and apprenticeships. Tanya currently works at North Spore making tinctures and packaging dried mushrooms. She also runs a small business called Oak Fairy Apothecary, which focuses on providing community with locally sourced herbs, mushrooms, and educational content.
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.
James is a Production Assistant at North Spore. He came to Maine from Virginia, but lived most of his prior years in and around Philadelphia. He is a passionate devotee of Gritty, and ranks his many other interests as being of only secondary importance thereto. Hail Gritty!
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.
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.
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. Working for North Spore, and being a part of the community it promotes, is an experience that he immensely appreciates.
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!