The New York Times recently named them the “Ingredient of the Year.” And in the Capital Region, Troy’s Collar City Mushrooms is farming fresh, gourmet fungi, running as fast as they can to meet constantly increasing demand.

Founder Avery Semple opened the vertical mushroom farm in February 2021 in the Lansingburgh section of Troy. “I started growing culinary mushrooms at home during the lockdown in 2020,” he said about the early COVID days. He and his partner, Amy Hood, deemed the experiment both a success and ripe with business potential.

The indoor farm, refashioned from a former auto-body shop that sits across the street from an old Ted’s Fish Fry, is a hub of activity. Open Wednesdays through Sundays, customers can buy mushrooms such as lion’s mane, shitakes, oysters, and maitakes. They also sell dried mushrooms, mushroom powder for culinary use, and a few other foods like Ovenbird Baking bread and Meaty Max vegan meat sticks. But the place doesn’t really look like a store. Instead, it presents as a combo art gallery/workspace/science lab/production facility — and the occasional restaurant. And it is all those things.

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