Inside Smallhold's Quest To Bring Specialty Mushrooms To The Masses
April 12, 2023
Over the past few years, speciality mushrooms have garnered more mainstream attention amidst the rise of the flexitarian. One of the companies at the helm of this trend is Smallhold, a Brooklyn, NY-based startup that began selling microfarms to restaurants to grow their own supply of mushrooms to serve their patrons six years ago. These eateries included Mission Chinese Food, Bunker Vietnamese, and (dare I mention) WeWork Food Labs. As dining rooms shut down during the peak of the pandemic, at-home grow kits became a focus. This eventually pushed the company towards grocers like its early Whole Foods location in Gowanus, Brooklyn using “Macrofarms.” In August of 2021, Smallhold raised a $25mm Series A led by Astanor Ventures’ partner David Barber, who also is a co-owner of Blue Hill alongside his brother Dan. According to Pitchbook, the round valued the company at $95mm. It has since doubled down on retail, opening two larger-scale indoor farms in Vernon, CA (Los Angeles) and Austin, TX. Two weeks ago, Smallhold launched an additional 238 new Sprouts and Ralphs stores throughout the west coast, bringing its total number of retail locations to over 650 doors. HNGRY recently toured its 34k sqft Vernon facility, which has now doubled its output to ~10-11k pounds of specialty mushrooms per week, about a third of its total capacity.
@hngrytv Inside a 34k sqft indoor 🍄 farm @smallholdfarms #mushroom #fungi ♬ Summer Goals - Stuart Moore