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Mushroom Culture wants to bring fungi feasts to Kansas City

On a mission to educate the metro about sustainable mushroom agriculture with delicious food, Mushroom Culture needs investors to start serving up morels and more on 39th.

Bryan Alley chopping small orange mushrooms in front of a black background.

Think you’re a picky eater? You won’t after trying what Mushroom Culture has to offer.

Photo by Carlos Lima via Mushroom Culture

Kansas City is a city of firsts: the first purpose-built women’s sports stadium, the first interactive children’s literature museum, and — provided it finds funding by Tuesday, May 7 — Mushroom Culture, the first mushroom butcher shop + deli.

We mush ask... why?

Well, there’s three big reasons:

First, despite major strides in plant-based eating within the last decade, processed replacement proteins — “hot dogs without the meat,” as founder, chef, and mushroom grower Bryan Alley told KCtoday — continually outpace more sustainable + holistic options.

Second, ‘shrooms come in all shapes and flavors — from meaty lion’s mane to syrupy candy caps — and Alley has spent the last four years experimenting with them all.

And third, mushrooms are a hardy, sustainable crop. Mushroom Culture plans to offer educational classes + grow kits to show diners how to bring the wonders of fungi home.

Why the capital of barbecue?

You might expect the first mushroom deli to pop up on one of the coasts — but with its own take on comfort classics, Mushroom Culture wants to prove that mushrooms can thrive in the heart of the Midwest.

What does KC bring to that equation? A one-of-a-kind food culture, plus a symbiotic small business scene. With fungi supplied by local grower MyCo Planet, Mushroom Culture plans to host pop-ups and collabs with local chefs from its location in Midtown.

A pitcher of syrup next to two waffles stacked with fried mushrooms and ice cream.

Mushroom Culture’s take on chicken + waffles features fried lion’s mane and candy cap ice cream.

When does it open?

It’s not a sure thing. Mushroom Culture has a location (the old Blue Koi on 39th), a menu, and a plan. It also has a Mainvest campaign sitting at $65,000 of the $300,000 needed to open up shop.

Currently, Mushroom Culture is funded almost exclusively by small investors + fans of the concept. With enough support, larger investors may take notice — the same path walked by Devoured Pizza on the way to its own brick-and-mortar.

Don’t want to jump in without trying for yourself? Mushroom Culture will pop up at the Earthbeat Festival on Saturday, April 27 with its signature lion’s mane tenderloin. Stop in, and see what mushrooms can do for you.

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