Fresh food doesn’t have to travel far to get to your dinner plate, Noki Farms grows mushrooms and micro-greens in their downtown business.
Noki Farms opened Saturday at Quebec Street Shoppes. It was created by biotechnicians Nykole Crevits and Karl Fellbaum who won Business Centre Guelph- Wellington’s Win This Space business competition. They won the downtown space with discounted rent for the year.
On their first day of opening they sold out of mushrooms.
“The reason why we went into the mushrooms is because they are a great alternative protein. Their production is sustainable, and we can offer them year-round so that you can have more variety on your dinner plate at the end of the day,” said Fellbaum.
One of the most popular kind of mushrooms they said they sell are pink oyster mushrooms and taste similar to bacon.
They joined the Conestoga College venture lab; the program helps support new business ideas and give a road map for their company. Crevits and Fellbaum’s coach at the lab suggested they try selling their products at local farmers' markets last summer. They said many of the customers they had at the markets came to their opening day to pick up some mushrooms and micro-greens.
“This is the farm, so we want you to know how things grow,” said Crevits.
In the future they said they hope to expand what they grow and farm fresh herbs, leafy greens and maybe strawberries. Also to include vendors by selling vinaigrette, preserves, jams and olive oil so customers can build a meal from what they pick up from Noki Farms.
“We’re trying to show people eating hyperlocal isn’t that difficult,” said Fellbaum. “We don’t really care if someone decides to completely mimic what we’re up to because the world needs what we’re doing.”
Vertical farming, which Noki Farms is doing as their business, is the process of stacking crops vertically using LED lights to help them grow.