wrdforwrd

green and sustainable business

Coffee Grounds and Mushrooms Unite!

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In honor of Thanksgiving, a short food-related post to consume.

BTTR Ventures (pronounced Better and as in Back To The Roots) has a thing about mushrooms, while Peet’s Coffee & Tea of course has a very big thing about coffee (and tea). This unlikely duo has joined forces in a clever and delicious waste-to-food recycling venture that produces gourmet mushrooms out of coffee grounds.

Some 16 billion pounds of coffee beans are used each year, most of which eventually wind up in landfills. Cal Berkley Haas School of Business grads Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Aorara founded the company to turn one of the largest waste streams in America into sustainable local food. They do this by using coffee grounds as the substrate to grow different varieties mushrooms.

BTTR donates 10 percent of profits back to the community. In addition, the venture is creating new jobs in local urban areas.

Peet’s, based in Emeryville, CA, is the primary source of BTTR’s coffee grounds.

BTTR oyster and shitake mushrooms are available at select Whole Foods Markets in the San Francisco Bay area. Their mushrooms are also available for online ordering.

BusinessWeek recently selected Velez and Aorara for its Top 25 Entrepreneurs in America Under 25, and they were one of the OG25 – the 25 most innovative start-ups – at Opportunity Green.

Guilt-free coffee and gourmet mushrooms – yum!

Happy Thanksgiving!



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Written by William DiBenedetto

25 November, 2009 at 3:30 pm

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