How 2 College Friends Found a Future in Mushrooms

Brian Shaw and Dan Thall wanted to put down roots in Hood River, Ore. So, they became farmers — organic mushroom farmers.

At the time the two started Hood River Organic, foodies in Portland could only buy organic mushrooms shipped cross-country from Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The new enterprise flourished in the locovore niche.

Hood River Organic has grown to include pear, cherry, apple and nectarine trees as well as blueberries and a market garden. The company’s mushrooms and produce can be found at New Seasons Markets, Whole Foods, Portland co-ops, natural food grocers, and numerous restaurants in Portland and Hood River.

Watch the video and learn more about how the business grew out of a simple conversation.