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2013 American Made Winner

Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora

We were a few months away from graduation at UC Berkeley when we first heard that you could grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into fresh, local food, we experimented in Alex's fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of oyster mushrooms. With that one bucket and incredible support from the community, we decided to forgo our investment banking and consulting offers. Instead we became full-time urban mushroom farmers, and we haven't looked back since! At Back to the Roots, our main goal is to challenge you to think about where your food comes from.

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