Yorkshire Mushroom Emporium (YMA) was founded in January 2021 by five friends from school, following a lockdown walk exploring community gardening projects across the city. James Collin, Niall Johnson, Ed Elcock, Jonny Lines, and Callum Doherty wanted to be part of the revolution in the food system - making it more sustainable and regenerative.
After visiting Kirkstall Valley Farm, the Bedford Fields permaculture garden, and the community gardening organization Hyde Park Source, the friends began bouncing around ideas for a project of their own - from growing microgreens to salad crops - before eventually landing on mushrooms.
James, 27, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Seeing the different projects got a lot of conversations started. We wanted to do something sustainable and local that would cut down the air miles on food. Mushrooms ticked a lot of boxes.”
After growing mushrooms in their homes and quickly running out of space, the friends secured a loan of Callum’s mum’s garage in Ilkley, rent-free for 12 months, where they developed a tiny indoor mushroom farm - supplying cafes and restaurants across Ilkley and Leeds.
Later that year, they were approached to appear on Hairy Bikers: Go Local, as the TV chefs matched innovative local suppliers to the best restaurants in the region. The Yorkshire episode, which aired last month, saw Dave and Si visit the YMA garage and come away with mushrooms to supply to the Indian restaurant Prashad.
Read the entire article at the Yorkshire Evening Post