From Coffee Grounds Sprout Mushrooms

A pair of recent U.C. Berkeley grads launch a new business, growing mushrooms from used coffee grounds.

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Joe Rosato Jr.
Alex Velez(left) and Nikhil Arora in the warehouse of their Emeryville-based BTTR Ventures.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
Velez and Arora plot out a busy day of in-store appearances to promote their new do-it-yourself mushroom kits.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
Bags hold a mixture of coffee grounds and mushroom seeds. Coffee creates a rich medium for mushrooms to grow in.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
Employee Ricky Jones fills a bag with coffee grounds, topped off with mushroom seeds.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
Employee Ricky Jones measures out the mixture of used Peet's coffee grounds and mushroom seeds to create a grow-it-at home mushroom kit.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
Shelves of the warehouse are lined with bags filled with the mixture of coffee grounds and mushroom seeds. The room temperature creates enough humidity to convince the mushrooms they're dying. That's what makes them grow.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
A cluster of Oyster mushrooms sprout from a bag of used coffee grounds.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
A do-it-yourself mushroom kit sits next to bags of the coffee ground - mushroom seed mixture.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
A do-it-yourself mushroom kit sits on a shelf in the BTTR Ventures warehouse.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
A large mushroom sprouts from the used coffee ground mixture.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
The budding entrepreneurs are often testing out new ways to grow mushrooms with different mixtures.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
After graduating from U.C. Berkeley this year, Arora and Velez turned down job offers at large companies in order to launch their mushroom business.
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Joe Rosato Jr.
Boxes of do-it-yourself mushroom kits wait to be packed for delivery.
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